Can Diabetes Cause High Blood Pressure?

Barbie Cervoni MS, RD, CDCES, CDN, is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes care and education specialist.

Learn about our editorial processUpdated on March 04, 2022Medically reviewedVerywell Health articles are reviewed by board-certified physicians and healthcare professionals. Medical Reviewers confirm the content is thorough and accurate, reflecting the latest evidence-based research. Content is reviewed before publication and upon substantial updates. Learn more.byDo-Eun Lee, MD Medically reviewed byDo-Eun Lee, MD

Do-Eun Lee, MD, has been practicing medicine for more than 20 years, and specializes in diabetes, thyroid issues and general endocrinology. She currently has a private practice in Lafayette, CA.

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Diabetes and high blood pressure (hypertension) often occur together. When a person has more than one health condition at the same time, doctors refer to it as comorbidity. Conditions that are comorbid can influence each other.

Sometimes, one condition can make the other worse or make a person more likely to get the other condition if they do not already have it. On the other hand, the steps that a person takes to manage one condition may help them manage (or even prevent) the other.

Common Diabetes Comorbidities

Hypertension and Diabetes

According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), diabetes and high blood pressure can be comorbid conditions.

Can Diabetes Cause High Blood Pressure?

ADA data shows that:

Diabetes and high blood pressure both increase a person’s risk of heart disease (cardiovascular disease) by damaging the blood vessels and making the heart work harder to pump blood through the body.

It is estimated that adults with diabetes are nearly twice as likely to die from heart disease or stroke as people who do not have diabetes.

How Your Whole Body Is Affected by Diabetes

High Blood Pressure: Symptoms and Tests

Your heart pumps about 2,000 gallons of blood throughout your body each day. The force at which the blood is pumped through your arteries is called blood pressure.

High blood pressure rarely has symptoms. The only way to know if you have it is to have your blood pressure checked by your doctor.

Elevated blood pressure (hypertension) is largely symptomless, which is why it’s nicknamed the “silent killer.”

According to the American Heart Association, nearly half of Americans over the age of 20 have high blood pressure—and half of those people do not know they have it.

Understanding High Blood Pressure

Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) and by two different numbers: your systolic (top number) and diastolic (bottom number) blood pressure.

Measuring blood pressure is a common, non-invasive medical test. A healthcare professional might use a digital blood pressure machine or a blood pressure cuff and a stethoscope to check your blood pressure.

Average Blood Pressure Readings by Age

The following chart shows the values for normal, borderline, high, and extremely high blood pressure (hypertensive crisis), which warrants immediate medical attention.