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Signs of High Blood Pressure in the Legs

author image Richard Nilsen
Richard Nilsen writes poetry, fiction, features and news stories in upstate New York. He was an emergency mental-health consultant for 20 years and directed a mentoring agency for a decade. Nilsen is a black-fly control technician in the Adirondack Park, where he enjoys hiking, biking and boating.
Signs of High Blood Pressure in the Legs
A woman is having her spider veins treated. Photo Credit: ElenaChervyakova/iStock/Getty Images

According to the AARP website, 690 million people worldwide have hypertension (high blood pressure). Even those with blood pressure in the normal range have a 90 percent chance of developing hypertension after they reach age 55. Those with hypertension often show signs and symptoms of high blood pressure in their legs in various ways. Vascular Web reports particular problems for those with high blood pressure who must sit or stand for long periods of inactivity. There are several signs and symptoms common in the legs of those with high blood pressure.

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Abnormally low blood pressure

Abnormally low blood pressure in the legs may be a symptom of a rare birth defect called coarctation according to the AARP Web site. In this malady, a part of the aorta in the chest is abnormally narrow. Hypertension results in the arms, but blood pressure in the legs is much lower, with pulses in the groin and legs so weak they may be absent. Other symptoms in the leg include weakness and poor circulation.

Leg swelling

According to a New York Times health story, foot, leg, calf and thigh and ankle swelling are all common signs of high blood pressure. The swelling may be painless, but can be a sign of toxemia (also called pre-eclampsia), which is found in pregnant women and is a serious condition.

Spider and varicose veins

Spider and varicose veins are both signs of high blood pressure in the legs, usually suffered by women, according to Vascular Web. (Spider veins are actually mild forms of varicose veins that look like a group of red or blue lines under the skin). Although spider veins aren’t a serious medical problem by themselves, they are a cosmetic concern to some, and may indicate a more serious problem of hypertension.

Tingling, cramping

Tingling, cramping and generalized leg pain are also signs of high blood pressure according to the National Institutes of Health. If you experience leg cramping while walking or having normal, non-stressful exercise, you may want to check with your physician.

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