Can Infection Cause High Blood Pressure?

Question

Asked by Chrissy

Can Infection Cause High Blood Pressure?

At a recent doctor's appointment for chest pain, they took my blood pressure and it was 155/101. More than a week later, it has stayed high despite my being put on blood pressure medications. I feel so dizzy and I am having severe stomach pains and headaches, plus I am still having the chest pains and a fast heart rate. I feel like I might have some sort of infection - could this be causing my high blood pressure?

Answer

Infections do have a connection to inflammation and heart disease. Infections elevate c-reactive protein (CRP) levels, an antibody-like protein. Increased CRP levels promote atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and can lead to high blood pressure. It's normal for CRP to rise temporarily when battling an infection, such as a urinary tract infection and then return to normal. It's the chronic infections that are reason for concern.

Continue to work with your physician to determine the root of your problem.  Here are some articles you might find useful in the meantime:

7 Lifestyle Strategies to Decrease Your Risk of a Blood Clot

Not Overweight, But Still At Risk for Heart Disease

How to Find the Best Blood Pressure Monitor

Answered by Lisa Nelson, RD, LN