The function of the heart is to keep on pumping blood to meet the needs of the body. And this process is aided by the blood pressure. It is the force of the blood pushing against the artery walls. The force is generated with each heartbeat as blood is pumped from the heart into the blood vessels.1
What is hypertension?
Hypertension is a condition that can be most easily explained as high blood pressure. As per medical standards, a person can be categorized as suffering from hypertension (high blood pressure) if they have three consecutive readings of anything above 130/80 mmHg.
Hypertension is the leading cause of conditions such as stroke, heart attack and heart disease. The major risk factors include obesity, smoking, family history and excessive alcohol consumption.
How is it related to heart disease?
High blood pressure or hypertension can lead to heart failure. And when the blood pressure increases, it can lead to the blocking and narrowing of blood vessels and that increases the risk of developing heart failure.2 One of the other ways by which high blood pressure can affect the heart is when it’s potential to result in Left Ventricular Hypertrophy (LVH).3 LVH is a condition where the muscles that make up the heart thicken and result in less effective muscle relaxation between each heartbeat. This lowers the supply of oxygen to your vital organs, especially during exertion. All this causes your body to hold on to fluids causing your heart rate to increase.
What can be done about it?
The only way this condition can be managed is by controlling or reducing one’s blood pressure. As per a study published in the Expert Review of Cardiovascular Therapy, ‘A reduction in blood pressure is still the most important factor in the prevention of disease progression, and early treatment averts the risk of subsequent heart failure and stroke.’3
- High Blood Pressure/Hypertension [Internet]. John Hopkins Medicine. 2020 [cited 2020 Apr 28]. Available from: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/high-blood-pressure-hypertension
- How High Blood Pressure Can Lead to Heart Failure [Internet]. www.heart.org. 2016. Available from: https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/high-blood-pressure/health-threats-from-high-blood-pressure/how-high-blood-pressure-can-lead-to-heart-failure
- Subramaniam V, Lip GY. Hypertension to heart failure: a pathophysiological spectrum relating blood pressure, drug treatments and stroke. Expert Rev Cardiovasc Ther. 2009 Jun;7(6):703-13. doi: 10.1586/erc.09.43. PubMed PMID: 19505285.