Think about the last time you put air in a tire (or maybe pumped up a kiddie pool). Most tires have a recommended pressure, and it's essential not to surpass that pressure or put too much stress on the tire's rubber lining. Well, blood pressure is kind of like this. Blood pressure is the pressure of blood pushing against the walls of your arteries. Arteries carry blood from your heart to other parts of your body. High blood pressure, or hypertension, is when there is too much pressure in your arteries.
The relationship between high blood pressure and immunity is complex. Elevated pressure in the arteries can damage tissue releases debris into the body. This activates the immune responses leading to inflammation in the kidneys, arteries, and central nervous system (Rodriguez-Iturbe et al, 2017).
Inflammation can be beneficial and is vital to the proper balance of the immune system. However, sustained inflammation from high blood pressure can bog down the immune system as it’s being overworked (Singh 2014).
- Rodriguez-Iturbe B, Pons H, Johnson RJ. Role of the Immune System in Hypertension. Physiological Reviews. 2017;97(3):1127-1164. doi:10.1152/physrev.00031.2016
- Singh MV, Chapleau MW, Harwani SC, Abboud FM. The immune system and hypertension. Immunol Res. 2014;59(0):243-253. doi:10.1007/s12026-014-8548-6