Can blocked carotid artery cause high blood pressure?

If you’re anything like me, high blood pressure is something that’s always on your mind. Maybe it’s because I’m a hypochondriac or maybe it’s just because I’m obsessed with my health – who knows? But one thing that has been bothering me lately is whether a blocked carotid artery can cause high blood pressure. So, being the dedicated (and slightly neurotic) person that I am, I decided to do some research and get to the bottom of this.

Understanding Your Carotid Arteries

Before we dive into whether or not a blocked carotid artery can cause high blood pressure, let’s quickly review what those arteries actually do. The carotid arteries are located in your neck and are responsible for supplying oxygen-rich blood to your brain. Pretty important stuff, right? That’s why any sort of issue with these arteries can be concerning.

A Closer Look at Blockages

So what exactly does it mean when we say “blocked” carotid artery? Essentially, this refers to the buildup of plaque within the walls of the artery which causes narrowing (stenosis). This buildup occurs over time due to various factors such as smoking cigarettes or having high cholesterol levels.

How Does Blood Pressure Work?

Now before we connect the dots between blocked carotids and high BP (get hip with modern lingo), let’s run through how blood pressure works in general. When your heart beats, it creates pumping action which pushes oxygenated blood throughout your body via vessels known as arteries. As this happens (think speed increases) there’s generally an increase in force against the walls of said vessels- voilà! You have yourself some good ol’ fashioned Blood Pressure!

Types of Pressure

Blood pressure readings come in two numbers – systolic/diastolic if you’re keeping track at home. Systolic pressure refers to the force against your artery walls during heartbeats while diastolic pressure is essentially how much internal resistance there is between those beats.

Can a Blocked Carotid Artery Cause High Blood Pressure?

Alrighty then – let’s get down to business (cue Mulan soundtrack). So can a blocked carotid artery actually cause high blood pressure? The answer is… kind of.

Studies have shown that individuals with moderate to severe stenosis in their carotids are more likely to experience high blood pressure than those without this condition. However, some caveats apply here which means things aren’t necessarily black and white (or Rosé all day for my fellow basic betches out there).

Contextual Factors

For one thing, individual variability comes into play – e.g personal physiology may influence whether or not this occurs per person- you know what they say: “Everyone’s different” (some insufferable people will only read article Cosmo-like) Secondly, the amount of blockage matters – if it isn’t significant enough, we shouldn’t expect over-high BP readings as outcome- right?

But I don’t want anyone reading this thinking that having blockages confers a total pass on living healthily as other risk factors like previous smoking history, lack of regular physical exercise, alcohol use or family history could be influential in “driving” high blood pressures too.


So there you have it folks; while blockages in your carotids won’t always result in hypertension(fancy word alert) certainly can do so! We can never quite predict from one person to another but what’s clear is leading healthy life choices remain important preventative measures over time regardless! This whole process takes me back-you know when you had Chocolate cereal for breakfast but spent the remainder of afternoon watching videos by somber health gurus telling you the importance of kale! Well my friend, lets get moving and keep those greens within grasp!