Question

Hypertension

How does high blood pressure affect the heart?

A Answers (8)

  • AMehmet Oz, MD, Cardiology, answered
    What High Blood Pressure Does to the Heart
    High blood pressure can cause the walls of the heart to thicken, because the heart muscle has to work harder to pump blood against the increased pressure. Watch Dr. Oz explain the effects of high blood pressure on the heart.
  • AMerle Myerson, MD, Cholesterol Management, answered
    Dr. Merle Myerson - How does high blood pressure affect the heart?

    Cardiovascular specialist Dr. Merle Myerson explains how high blood pressure affects the heart. Watch Dr. Myerson's video for important tips and information about heart health.


  • AVonda Wright, MD, Orthopedic Surgery, answered
    When blood pressure increases, our hearts adjust by pumping harder. This is because the arteries -- the blood vessels that take oxygen-rich blood away from the heart and deliver it to our bodies -- become stiffer and less flexible with age. This stiffening and loss of flexibility causes blood pressure to increase. Researchers have noted that the wall of the left ventricles of our hearts become thicker with age. This thickening allows our hearts to pump more strongly against the resistance of stiff arteries.
  • ASteven Gurland, MD, Internal Medicine, answered on behalf of MDLIVE
    As your blood pressure elevates the amount of stress on your heart muscle increases. The extra workload will over time enlarge your heart. Your heart's ability to function properly will also be diminished if the stress from the elevated pressure is not treated.
  • ANassir Azimi, MD, Cardiology, answered
    High blood pressure can lead to damage to the coronary arteries, leading to coronary artery disease, heart attacks and heart failure.

    It can lead to atrial fibrillation, valvular heart disease and weakening of the heart muscle or cardiomyopathy. It can lead to thickening of the muscle of the heart and angina.  
  • High blood pressure can damage your arteries, restrict blood flow to your organs, and increase the work of the heart. If not controlled, it can lead to heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness, and other health problems.
  • High blood pressure makes the heart work harder, contributes to hardening of the arteries, and increases the frequency of angina (chest pain that is the heart's response to a lack of oxygen), as well as the risk of heart attack and stroke. Have your blood pressure checked. If it is high, follow your doctor's recommendations about a low-fat, low-salt diet, increased exercise, and any medication that may be needed.
  • ASameer A. Sayeed, MD, Cardiology, answered
    High blood pressure causes the heart to pump against very high pressure. To compensate, the heart thickens or enlarges to cope with the high pressure. As a result, the heart becomes stiffer and does not relax as well so blood cannot come into the heart as efficiently from the lungs and this can lead to heart failure and fluid in the lungs and difficulty breathing. Changes in the heart's geometry can also cause the pump function to eventually fail and can also lead to changes and scarring in the electrical system and to the development of arrhythmias such as atrial fibrillation. High blood pressure damages the coronary arteries and can lead to coronary artery disease and heart attacks.
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