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How does high bp cause heart disease

Updated at: Dec 29, 2017
Heart Health
Written by: Editorial TeamPublished at: Feb 25, 2011
How does high bp cause heart disease

High blood pressure increase the pressure on your arterial walls to weaken the arteries and make them prone to atherosclerosis.

Hypertensive heart disease can be defined as heart problems that result due to high blood pressure. This leads to various problems or heart disease such as coronary artery disease, heart failure and thickening of the heart muscle or left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH).


heart disease causes


What high blood pressure does to your heart health?

It is well known that high blood pressure (hypertension) increases your risk of heart attack and other heart disease. High blood pressure or hypertension increase the pressure on your arterial walls and leads to weakening of the arteries and makes it more prone for atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis occurs due to build-up of fatty substances on the inner walls of the arteries, which then narrows the lumen of the arteries. The narrowing of the lumen of the arteries or clogging of the arteries increases the work load of the heart. The heart must then work harder to pump blood to various parts of the body.

This leads to thickening of the heart muscle or left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH). If high blood pressure is not treated may lead to symptoms of congestive heart failure or other heart problems like coronary artery disease and disturbance of heart rhythm.



Hypertensive heart disease is major cause of illness and death in men and women worldwide. The symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and outcome of hypertensive heart disease depends on the complications that develop due to high blood pressure.

Some common complications that occur due to high blood pressure include:

  • Angina
  • Arrhythmia
  • Heart attack
  • Heart failure
  • Stroke
  • Sudden death



Treatment and Prevention

If you have high blood pressure or hypertension you should follow up regularly with your doctor and take your medications as advised.

  • Do not stop or change treatment for high blood pressure without consulting your doctor.
  • Besides medications for high blood pressure lifestyle changes that are recommended include:
  • Diet changes - Include plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grain foods in your diet. Use low fat dairy products. Avoid foods that contain trans fats and saturated fats
  • Limit salt intake to less than 1600mg/day
  • Do exercises regularly
  • Limit alcohol consumption and avoid smoking
  • If you are obese try to reduce your weight and aim for BMI between 18.5–24.9 kg/m2




Read more articles on High Blood Pressure


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