But the condition can also increase the risk of developing cancer, researchers have claimed.
Experts believe as many as one in four people could be living with high blood pressure in the UK.
Persistent high blood pressure can increase your risk of a number of serious conditions including vascular dementia, kidney disease and aortic aneurysms.
The condition is more common in people who are overweight or obese, those over the age of 65 and people who don’t do enough exercise.
Lack of exercise and being overweight has also been linked to cancer.
Being overweight or obese is the single biggest cause of preventable cancer in the UK after smoking and is linked to 13 types of cancer including bowel and breast cancer.
Experts revealed how adding 8cm to the hips is linked to a 15 per cent increased risk of bowel cancer, one of the most common forms of cancer.
In September 2011, experts said raised blood pressure is linked to a higher risk of developing cancer or dying from the disease.
The study looked included more than 280,000 men and 280,000 women.
It revealed higher than normal blood pressure was associated with a ten to 20 per cent higher risk of developing cancer in men.
The researchers also found that, as blood pressure rose, the risk of oral, colorectal, lung, bladder, and kidney cancers, melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers rose in men.
Experts also found high blood pressure was linked to a higher risk of dying from the disease in men and women.
In women, the experts found blood pressure was linked to increased risk of liver cancer, pancreas, cervix and melanoma.
At the time, Dr Van Hemelrijck, who was then a research associated in the Cancer Epidemiology group at Kings College London, said: “Our study shows that blood pressure is a risk factor for incident cancer in men and fatal cancer in men and women.
“Although the relative and absolute risk estimates were rather modest, these results are important from a public health perspective since a large proportion of the…