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All You Need to Know About Hypertensive Heart Disease

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All You Need to Know About Hypertensive Heart Disease

Cardiology | by Dr. Dhiman Kahali | Published on 31/12/2021


Introduction

Have you been overlooking the signs like shortness of breath or chest tightness? If yes, then you must book your appointment with BM Birla Heart Research Center in Kolkata, the only cardiac hospital in the Eastern region. It is because these signs usually are an indication of a condition called hypertensive heart disease. Hence, with the assistance of expert cardiac professionals, you will receive the best diagnosis and treatment that’s suitable for you. 

For more comprehension, in this blog, we will discuss this condition thoroughly involving its causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options. However, please keep a note that the blog post is for informative purposes only and we do not in any way interfere with the doctor’s consultation. 

What is Hypertensive Heart Disease?

Hypertensive heart disease is a condition triggered by hypertension or high blood pressure, as we commonly know it. As per the experts from the best cardiac hospital in Kolkata, the latter puts increased pressure on your heart muscles, giving rise to different heart disorders. Hypertensive heart disease is marked by heart failure, CAD, and thickening of the heart muscles, and happens to be the leading cause of death in patients suffering from high blood pressure.

What are the different types of hypertensive heart disease?

Here are some of the common types of hypertensive heart disease, as listed by the best cardiologist in Kolkata.

  • Narrowing of arteries - The coronary arteries are the major arteries responsible for transporting blood to the heart muscles. When your blood pressure increases, it can cause the coronary artery to shrink, thereby hindering the normal flow of blood through it. The condition is commonly referred to as coronary heart disease or coronary artery disease. It can lead to the deficiency of oxygenated blood in various parts of the body, thereby drastically affecting the normal functioning of these. In some cases there might be the formation of a blood clot that can completely restrict the flow of blood, making you highly susceptible to a heart attack.
  • Thickening of the heart muscle - Elevated blood pressure can interfere with your heart's ability to pump blood, making it more difficult and cumbersome. This hard work can cause your muscles to become thick and drastically impact the normal functioning of the heart. Such changes are more likely to happen in the left ventricle of the heart and the condition is commonly referred to as left ventricular hypertrophy.

It is pertinent to note that if you have any of the two, it is likely to make you more susceptible to the other one. Also, both conditions can give rise to serious complications that include heart failure, arrhythmia, ischemic heart disease, heart attack, cardiac arrest, and stroke.

What are the risk factors for Hypertensive Heart Disease?

Hypertensive heart disease affects people suffering from hypertension or high blood pressure. The risks are higher for people who are overweight, lead a stagnant lifestyle, smoke, and consume foods rich in fats and cholesterol. The risks are also higher if you have a family history of hypertensive heart disease. Experts from the best heart hospital in Kolkata suggest that hypertensive heart disease is more common in men, as compared to women, who are still menstruating. However, the risks of postmenopausal women are somewhat similar to those of men.

What are Hypertensive Heart Disease Symptoms?

Hypertensive heart disease symptoms vary from one person to another, depending upon the severity of the condition, the age of the patient, and some other factors. Some of the common symptoms that you need to look out for include:

  • Persistent chest pain or angina
  • Feeling pressure or tightness in the chest
  • Breathlessness
  • General body weakness and fatigue
  • Chest back pain that radiates toward the neck, back, and arms
  • Unexplained loss of appetite
  • Oedema in the lower extremities

What are Hypertensive Heart Disease Causes?

The primary cause of hypertensive heart disease is lasting, untreated, and badly controlled high blood pressure. Some contributing factors are there that increase the probability of developing this condition. Here are these factors:

  • Hypertension: One of the most common causes of hypertensive heart disease is chronic high blood pressure. It makes the heart put in extra effort while pumping the blood which leads to the heart’s structure and functional changes.
  • Genetic factors: People who have a history of this condition or any cardiovascular issue are at risk of developing hypertensive heart disease. 
  • Lifestyle factors: People who have unhealthy lifestyle choices make themselves vulnerable to developing conditions like hypertension. These factors are poor diet, no exercise, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, etc.
  • Age: With age, the risk of developing conditions like hypertensive heart disease increases. It is because blood vessels tend to turn in elasticity over time and the growing blood pressure probability also enhances when people age. 
  • Obesity: People who experience issues like obesity or are overweight are at an increased risk of developing hypertensive heart disease. Due to excessive weight, resistance in blood vessels increases and the heart has to work harder to pump the heart and circulate the blood. 
  • Other conditions: People with certain conditions such as kidney disease, hormonal disorders, and diabetes experience hypertensive heart disease.

How is Hypertensive Heart Disease diagnosed?

Hypertensive heart disease diagnosis involves a combination of medical tests, physical tests, etc. Here is a detailed overview of which tests are often recommended to confirm the diagnosis:

  • Medical history and physical evaluation: The doctor often asks the patient about their medical history, and family history, and starts physical evaluation by assessing the symptoms. They also ask questions related to lifestyle changes. 
  • Blood pressure measurement: It is measured in millimeters to determine whether the pressure is normal or not.
  • Laboratory tests: Blood tests are performed to evaluate blood glucose levels, cholesterol levels, and kidney function.
  • Electrocardiogram: It helps in recording the heart’s electrical activity and determining unusual heart rhythms including other anomalies. 
  • Echocardiogram: It involves using ultrasound to generate a precise heart’s structure and function picture. This test assists in detecting anomalies like thickened heart walls, impaired pumping function, and enlarged chambers. 
  • Chest X-ray: To determine the size and shape of the heart and to look for any indications of fluid accumulation in the lungs, a chest X-ray may be taken.
  • Holter monitor: These devices help in tracking blood pressure (ambulatory blood pressure monitoring) or heart rhythm (Holter monitor). They provide a comprehensive view of blood pressure and heart health patterns.
  • Cardiac Stress Testing: To evaluate how the heart reacts to physical strain, stress tests are performed. This can help in locating any anomalies that are noticeable when a patient is at rest.

What are the options for Hypertensive Heart Disease treatment?

The treatment of hypertensive heart disease typically involves a combination of lifestyle modifications and medications to control blood pressure. The primary goal is to manage hypertension effectively, reduce strain on the heart, and prevent or manage complications. Here are the main treatment options:

  • Lifestyle Modifications: Healthy Diet: Adopting a heart-healthy diet that is low in sodium, saturated fats, and cholesterol can help manage blood pressure. Regular Exercise: Engaging in regular physical activity can help lower blood pressure. Weight Management: Losing excess weight can significantly contribute to blood pressure control. Limiting Alcohol: Moderating alcohol intake is recommended. Smoking Cessation: Quitting smoking is crucial, as it damages blood vessels and exacerbates hypertension.
  • Medications: Several classes of medications may be prescribed to manage blood pressure. Common classes of antihypertensive medications include diuretics, angiotensin-converting Enzyme (ACE) Inhibitors, angiotensin II Receptor Blockers (ARBs), calcium channel blockers, and beta-blockers
  • Monitoring and Follow-Up: Regular monitoring of blood pressure is essential to assess the effectiveness of treatment and make adjustments as needed.
  • Management of Underlying Conditions: If there are underlying conditions contributing to hypertensive heart disease, such as diabetes or high cholesterol, these conditions will also need to be effectively managed. 
  • Cardiac Rehabilitation: In some cases, cardiac rehabilitation programs may be recommended to provide structured exercise, education, and support for individuals with heart disease.

Conclusion

In summary, untreated or badly managed high blood pressure leads to a lasting negative impact on hypertensive heart disease. Persistent cardiac strain increases the risk of complications like heart failure, coronary artery disease, and other cardiovascular problems by causing structural and functional alterations in the heart. Managing hypertensive heart disease efficiently and early in life is essential to reducing its risks. You must work with your healthcare provider to manage the condition better. 

FAQ -

 

Is hypertensive heart disease hereditary?

Genes have some role to play in hypertensive heart disease conditions, however, it is determined that the primary cause is blood pressure elevation. 

Can heart disease cause hypertension?

Yes, for people who have heart disease, there is a high probability that they have hypertension or high blood pressure.