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Mayo Clinic Health Library

Question

Anxiety: A cause of high blood pressure?

Can anxiety cause high blood pressure?

Updated: 03-04-2020

Answer

Answer Section

Anxiety doesn't cause long-term high blood pressure (hypertension). But episodes of anxiety can cause dramatic, temporary spikes in your blood pressure.

If those temporary spikes occur frequently, such as every day, they can cause damage to your blood vessels, heart and kidneys, as can chronic high blood pressure. In addition, people who are anxious or stressed are more likely to engage in unhealthy habits that can raise blood pressure, such as:

  • Smoking
  • Drinking alcoholic beverages
  • Overeating

Some medications to treat anxiety and other mental health conditions, such as serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), can also increase your blood pressure.

If you have trouble controlling your anxiety or if anxiety interferes with daily activities, talk to your doctor or a mental health provider to find an appropriate treatment.