Question

Hypertension

How does high blood pressure affect the heart?

A Answers (5)

  • 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.  

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • AMerle Myerson, 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.


  • 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.
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