Skip to main content

Anxiety: A cause of high blood pressure?

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Mar 8, 2022.

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

If those temporary spikes occur frequently, such as every day, they can cause damage to blood vessels, the 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 also can increase blood pressure. These medications include serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs).

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

© 1998-2023 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). All rights reserved. Terms of use.