Hypertensive Heart Disease – Causes and treatments

Hypertensive Heart Disease – Definition

Hypertensive heart disease is characterized by a firmly continuous high blood pressure in which the force of blood against the artery walls is too high. Continuous hypertension causes structural and functional abnormalities of the heart. This can also cause damage to the ventricular and arterial myocardium as well as the epicardium and intramural coronary arteries. As a result, other heart diseases can occur like myocardial ischemia, arterial fibrillation, and congestive heart failure.

Epidemiology of Hypertensive Heart Disease

Hypertension or high blood pressure affects at least 4 billion people worldwide. Hypertensive heart disease is only one of several diseases attributable to high blood pressure. Other diseases caused by high blood pressure include ischemic heart disease, stroke, peripheral arterial disease, aneurysms, and kidney disease.

Hypertension increases the risk of heart failure by two or three-folds and probably accounts for about 25% of all cases of heart failure. In addition, hypertension precedes heart failure in 90% of cases, and the majority of heart failure in the elderly may be attributable to hypertension.

Hypertensive heart disease was estimated to be responsible for 1.0 million deaths worldwide in 2004 (or approximately 1.7% of all deaths globally) and was ranked 13th in the leading global causes of death for all ages.

Types of Hypertensive Heart Disease

Coronary Heart Disease (CHD):

Coronary heart disease (CHD) in general, the heart problems caused due to high blood pressure are related to the heart’s arteries and muscles. It is called coronary artery disease. It can put you at risk for a heart attack from a blood clot that gets stuck in one of the narrowed arteries and cuts off blood flow to your heart.

Left Ventricular Hypertrophy (LVH):

High blood pressure makes pumping of blood to heart difficult. Like other muscles in your body, regular hard work causes your heart muscles to thicken and grow and this alters the way, the heart functions. The main pumping functions in the chamber of the heart happen usually by changing, the left ventricle. This condition is known as left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH).

CHD can cause LVH and they are directly proportional to each other. When you have CHD, your heart must work harder. If LVH enlarges your heart, it compacts the coronary arteries.

Risk factors of Hypertensive Heart Disease

Some of the risk factors that are

  • Non-modifiable
  • Male sex; it is said that eostrogen produced in women confers a beneficial effect on them. However, he is lost after menopause or in DM.
  • Black race
  • Positive family history
  • Modifiable
  • Diabetes
  • Phaeochromocytoma
  • Smoking
  • Excessive alcohol
  • Hyperlipedaemia
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Obese

What causes Hypertensive Heart Disease?

  • High blood pressure means the pressure inside the blood vessels (called arteries) is too high. As the heart pumps against this pressure, it must work harder. Over time, this causes the heart muscle to thicken.
  • Because there are often no symptoms with high blood pressure, people can have a problem without knowing it. Symptoms most often do not occur until after many years of poor blood pressure control, when damage to the heart has occurred.
  • Without treatment of high blood pressure, symptoms of heart failure may develop. Sometimes, the muscle can be so thick that it does not get enough oxygen. This can cause angina (chest pain).
  • High blood pressure also leads to thickening of the blood vessel walls. When combined with cholesterol deposits in the blood vessels, the risk of heart attack and stroke increases.
  • Hypertensive heart disease is the leading cause of illness and death from high blood pressure.

How do we know if Hypertensive Heart Disease arise?

There are a few symptoms of hypertensive heart disease such as :

  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Chest Pain
  • Leg or ankle swelling
  • Pain in the neck, shoulder, back, and arm
  • A cough
  • Loss of appetite
  • Tightness or pressure in the chest
  • Nausea
  • Indigestion
  • Bloating and abdominal pain


Both CHD and LVH can lead to:

Heart failure: your heart is unable to pump enough blood to the rest of your body

Arrhythmia: your heart beats abnormally

Ischemic heart disease: your heart doesn’t get enough oxygen

Heart attack: blood flow to the heart is interrupted and the heart muscle dies from lack of oxygen

Sudden cardiac arrest: your heart suddenly stops working, you stop breathing, and you lose consciousness

Stroke and sudden death

Diagnosis and test

To begin with, the treating physician will take a detailed history to include family history and social history. The physician will then conduct a physical examination to check the blood pressure and if found chronically hypertensive then the following tests will be conducted:

Electrocardiogram: This test shows the heartbeat in the form of electrical impulses. This test can show whether there is any abnormality in the rhythm of the heart and whether the heart is functioning normally.

Echocardiogram: This test makes use of ultrasound waves to look at the functioning of the heart. This test can accurately identify any abnormality of the functioning of the heart.

Chest X-ray: This can reveal whether there is any enlargement of the heart or not which can rule in or rule out cardiomegaly as a cause of the heart murmur. Apart from these tests a CT scan or an MRI will also be obtained which can accurately detect the presence of a cardiac problem.

Coronary Angiography: This test checks the blood flow to and from the heart examines. Any abnormality in flow of blood in the heart can be confirmed through this test.

Treadmill Stress Test: This test is conducted to find out the exercise tolerance of the patient and how much distance the patient can cover on the treadmill before the patient starts having symptoms. This is quite helpful in confirming the diagnosis and formulating a treatment plan.

Treatment and medications

Treatment of heart disease of involves a mix of lifestyle changes and medications. It all depends on what sort of condition the victim is in and the individual problems that are occurring. Some of the medications prescribed are:

  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors
  • Vasodilators
  • Calcium channel blockers
  • Diuretics
  • Angiotensin II receptor antagonists
  • Beta-blockers

If the symptoms of heart disease are bad enough, the doctor may want to do corrective surgery. This could be surgeries such as a coronary bypass, repair of the heart valves, or surgeries to repair damaged or malformed blood vessels.


Diagnosing high blood pressure early can help prevent heart disease, stroke, eye problems, and chronic kidney disease.

All adults over the age of 18 should have their blood pressure checked every year. More frequent measurement may be needed for those with a history of high blood pressure readings or those with risk factors for high blood pressure.

Guidelines can change as new information becomes available, Therefore, your health care provider may recommend more frequent screenings based on your blood pressure levels and other health conditions.

If your blood pressure is high, you need to lower it and keep it under control.

  • Do not stop or change high blood pressure medicines without talking to your provider.
  • Carefully control diabetes and high cholesterol.

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  1. If you could give some names of drugs that would be great. Nice summarize though.

  2. dc. I always have pain when I cry a lot .what is it ?

  3. Elizabeth Burkhart Counts

    How can you get your blood pressure medications without going and seeing your doctor for blood test if you have been taking the blood pressure medications for several years?

  4. Okpor Julius peter

    pls how do you know agood bp drug and what is the best drug

    • enalapril (Vasotec)
      captopril (Capoten)
      lisinopril (Zestril and Prinivil)
      benazepril (Lotensin)

      Do not consume these drugs without a prescription from a doctor.

  5. if finger nail is swelling, is it heart disease

  6. i always have pain when ever i do exercise, what kind of disease is that

  7. Your Namedoris Ogechi

    is there any natural way or thing to cure high blood pressure?

    • Natural ways to combat high blood pressure are
      Walk and exercise regularly. Exercise is one of the best things you can do to lower high blood pressure.
      Reduce your sodium intake.
      Drink less alcohol.
      Eat more potassium-rich foods.
      Cut back on caffeine.
      Learn to manage stress.
      Eat dark chocolate or cocoa.
      Lose weight.

  8. can heart failure cure?

  9. Alhassan Mohamed

    i don’t feel confortable anytime my Doctor changes my hypertension drug. so i have remained on one drug for 18yrs now since i started takin it. i don’t have any problem if it. this there any conseqences.

  10. Alhassan Mohamed

    on hypertension drug for 18yrs now. any other drug makes me uncomfortable. is there any consequences?

  11. Do we have herbal medicine for the treatment of High Blood Pressure? I do experience waist pain regularly, is there any relationship between High Blood Pressure & waist pain? What drugs/ herbal medicine can be used for the treatment of waist pain? Thank you. T. h. a. n.

    • There is no relation between waist pain and high bp. For this condition please consult a pain management specialist.
      Home Remedies for Managing High Blood Pressure:
      Get moving: Exercising 30 to 60 minutes a day is an important part of healthy living.
      Follow the DASH diet: Following the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet can lower your blood pressure by as much as 11 mm Hg systolic.
      Put down the saltshaker: Keeping your sodium intake to a minimum can be vital for lowering blood pressure.
      Lose excess weight: Weight and blood pressure go hand in hand. Losing just 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms) can help lower your blood pressure.
      Nix your nicotine addiction: Each cigarette you smoke temporarily raises blood pressure for several minutes after you finish. If you’re a heavy smoker, your blood pressure can stay elevated for extended periods of time.
      Limit alcohol: Drinking a glass of red wine with your dinner is perfectly fine. It might even offer heart-health benefits when done in moderation.
      Stress less: In today’s fast-paced world that’s filled with increasing demands, it can be hard to slow down and relax. It’s important to step away from your daily responsibilities so you can ease your stress.

  12. is this high blood pressure has permanent treatment? I have been taking drugs over a year now and I’m still at high. amlodipin 10mg and numeretic. drugs taken

  13. pls.what nature way of taken care of it, (something like harb).


  14. I have brother whose suffering from hypertension is on medication right now it seems there is no improvement why?

  15. Youngs David Mogha

    Great app for me (and many others) . My mother-in-law has been suffering from hypertensive heart disease for more than a decade without us knowing. Luckily, it was discovered last month at a hospital . This information has helped me understand her situation better so that I will be able to handle her situation better.

  16. I do have joint pain&fingers pain

  17. pls recommend drug for me am 54yrs old female

  18. I am 57 yes old my penis can raise again.just of recent. I going through a Court matter.pls recommend drug for me.

  19. I have breathing deficulty

  20. I find it difficult to talk some things
    please what caused it

  21. what are the foods that contain potassium and magnesium

  22. very helpful my left leg loosing power and freezing frequently could it be ischaemic TIA

  23. getting frequent attacks on the left leg loss of power and going numb

  24. A 29yrs old boy of b/p=120/90mg management

  25. I do have wet cough after eating, burning knees after some little walk and a little pain in my chest. cause? pls

  26. I usually experience pain in my chest after some 30-35 minutes walk, what could possibly lead to that?

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