Hypertension, or High Blood Pressure

Hypertension is a condition when the force with which your blood is being pumped is so high that it puts dangerous strain on your blood vessels and heart.

Hypertension often shows few symptoms. At most, a person might experience some faint headaches or dizzy spells, or have more nosebleeds than normal, before a heart attack or stroke happens.

Hypertension can result in a number of health problems:

  • Increased risk of heart attack and/or heart disease
  • Increased risk of stroke
  • Increased risk of aneurysms
  • Weakened blood vessels in the kidneys and eyes
  • Metabolism problems such as problems with cholesterol or insulin
  • Problems thinking or remembering

Hypertension often occurs at the same time as other medical problems. These other medical problems can include:

  • Kidney problems
  • Adrenal gland problems
  • Thyroid problems
  • Sleep apnea
  • Genetic blood vessel defects (usually narrow blood vessels)

The hypertension is usually either a symptom or a cause of these other medical problems.

Social Security’s listing of impairments mentions hypertension in section 4.H.1. (which is about cardiovascular disease). Since hypertension in of itself has few symptoms, it is primarily evaluated based on how it affects other medical problems and what kind of restrictions it places on you.


Bill testified that he has a pacemaker, but it has not helped improve his functioning.