High blood pressure is already a health problem that restricts you from doing things that you may want such as eating salty foods. It is also a condition which may become a risk factor for other medical conditions to develop as well. Since high blood pressure brings too many problems in human life, it is imperative that you keep it treated and in control. If not, it may result in other problems such as hypertensive cardiovascular disease.
Hypertensive Cardiovascular Disease
What Is A Hypertensive Cardiovascular Disease?
Basing from the name itself, the hypertensive cardiovascular disease is a condition of the heart which is caused by high blood pressure. There are some heart disorders that are caused by increased pressure in the heart.
The hypertensive cardiovascular (heart) diseases include coronary artery disease (CAD), heart failure, heart muscle thickening and other conditions as well. If it remains untreated, such conditions will lead to serious health and fatal problems. As a matter of fact, hypertensive heart disease is the leading cause of death from people with high blood pressure.
What Causes Hypertensive Heart Disease?
The main reason for hypertensive heart disease is high blood pressure that is present over an extended period of time. Once there is a high blood pressure, the pressure in the arteries – the heart’s blood vessels – are too high. The heart has to work harder to pump against the pressure and the work overload will cause your heart muscle to thicken.
High blood pressure also results in the thickening of blood vessel walls and will increase the risk of stroke and heart attack if it is combined with cholesterol deposits in the arteries.
What Are The Risk Factors For Hypertensive Heart Disease?
Did you know that more than 610,000 of Americans, both men and women of different ages and walks of life, die from heart disease each year in the United States? As a matter of fact, heart diseases are the leading cause of fatalities among the US population. It is vital to know if you are at risk of developing the disease so that you can take preventive actions and avoid acquiring it.
Since the primary cause of hypertensive heart disease is high blood pressure, you are at an increased risk if you are:
- No physical exercise
- Eating foods that are high in cholesterol and fat
Other risk factors include:
- You are prone to the development of heart disease if someone in your family has it.
- Men are more prone to getting a heart disease than women, though menopause may increase a woman’s chances of acquiring it.
- As you grow older, the risk of having a heart disease is getting higher and higher.
What Are The Types Of Hypertensive Heart Disease?
- Narrowed Arteries. Your heart’s coronary arteries are the one that transports blood to your heart muscle. Blood flow to your heart may slow down or stop if the elevated blood pressure will narrow the blood vessels. This condition will result in coronary artery disease, otherwise known as coronary heart disease (CHD).
Your heart will now have difficulty to function and will not be able to supply your other organs with blood efficiently because of the CHD. This may result in a heart attack from blood clots that has stuck in the narrowed arteries and may also cut blood flow to your heart, which can be very dangerous and fatal.
- Heart Thickening And Enlargement. Since elevated blood pressure levels push your heart to work harder against pressure, it will cause your heart muscle to grow and thicken, which will, in turn, alter how your heart functions. The change will usually affect your left ventricle, which is considered as the main pumping chamber of the heart. The condition will now be called as left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH).
These two types of hypertensive cardiovascular disease may be interlinked with each other. CHD can cause LVH and it is the another way around too. In CHD cases, the heart works harder; while heart enlargement in LVH may compress your coronary arteries as well.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Hypertensive Heart Disease?
There are different signs and symptoms of hypertensive heart disease depending on how severe the case is and how it progresses. Some people are asymptomatic, which means that they do not experience any symptoms at all; while there are also those who experience these things:
- Angina (chest pains)
- Feelings of chest tightness and pressure
- Shortness of breath
- A cough that is persistent
- No appetite to eat
- Swelling of foot and ankle
- Pain felt at the neck, shoulders, arms and back
- Irregular heartbeats (this is an emergency concern if your heart suddenly beats rapidly)
When To Consult A Doctor?
If you are experiencing the above mentioned signs and symptoms or even if you are asymptomatic but falls in any of the risk categories, it is best to consult with your doctor immediately. This will help you prevent the arising of the problem, or slow down its progression if it is already there through different treatments.
When you visit your doctor, he will check your medical and family history, conduct a physical exam and order some laboratory and diagnostic tests to check the condition of your kidneys, blood count and sodium and potassium levels. Other tests such as electrocardiogram, echocardiogram, coronary angiography, exercise stress test, and nuclear stress test may also be done to check the status of your heart.
Is Hypertensive Heart Disease Treatable?
Treatments will depend on how severe your condition is. Usually, your doctor will provide you with the needed medications to prevent blood clots, lower cholesterol levels, treat and control symptoms, as well as improve blood flow. It is important that you take the prescribed medications accordingly because your heart is a very sensitive part of your body.
Surgeries are also done to treat extreme heart conditions, and implantable devices may also be placed inside your body to help monitor and treat sudden cardiac arrhythmias.