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How does high blood pressure affect the heart?

Dr. Douglas E. Severance, MD
Family Practitioner

If you have uncontrolled high blood pressure (hypertension), you have an increased chance for atrial fibrillation. High blood pressure is a very common health condition in the US, affecting men and women of all ages--even children. The problem with high blood pressure is that it causes no outward symptoms for years, so you may be unaware of the damage it is causing. Uncontrolled hypertension greatly increases the chance of serious problems such as stroke and heart attack. High blood pressure can be easily detected with a simple blood pressure test. Talk to your doctor about your blood pressure and, if it is high, be sure you take the medications as prescribed.

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.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.