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A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia [Internet]. Atlanta (GA): A.D.A.M.; 2013.

A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia.

Hypertensive heart disease

Last reviewed: June 4, 2012.

Hypertensive heart disease refers to heart problems that occur because of high blood pressure. These problems include:

 

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

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.

Without treatment, 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 attacks and stroke increases.

Hypertensive heart disease is the leading cause of illness and death from high blood pressure.

 

Calling your health care provider

Call your health care provider if you have high blood pressure and develop any symptoms.

Prevention

Because there are no symptoms with high blood pressure, people can have the condition without knowing it. Diagnosing high blood pressure early can help prevent heart disease, stroke, eye problems, and chronic kidney disease.

All adults should have their blood pressure checked:

  • Every 2 years, if their blood pressure was less than 120/80 mmHg at their most recent reading
  • Once a year if their blood pressure was 120 - 139/80 - 89 mmHg

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

  • Do not stop or change high blood pressure medications, except on the advice of your health care provider.
  • Carefully control diabetes and high cholesterol.

 

References

  1. Massie BM. Heart failure: pathophysiology and diagnosis. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 58.
  2. Victor RG. Arterial hypertension. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 67.

Review Date: 6/4/2012.

Reviewed by: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; and Michael A. Chen, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, Harborview Medical Center, University of Washington Medical School, Seattle, Washington. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.

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The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only — they do not constitute endorsementscof those other sites. © 1997–2011 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

Copyright © 2013, A.D.A.M., Inc.

A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, also known as the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission (www.urac.org). URAC's accreditation program is an independent audit to verify that A.D.A.M. follows rigorous standards of quality and accountability. A.D.A.M. is among the first to achieve this important distinction for online health information and services. Learn more about A.D.A.M.'s editorial policy, editorial process and privacy policy. A.D.A.M. is also a founding member of Hi-Ethics and subscribes to the principles of the Health on the Net Foundation (www.hon.ch).

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only — they do not constitute endorsementscof those other sites. © 1997–2011 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

Copyright © 2013, A.D.A.M., Inc.

What works?

  • Multiple risk factor interventions for coronary heart diseaseMultiple risk factor interventions for coronary heart disease
    In many countries, there is enthusiasm for 'healthy heart programmes' that use counselling and educational methods to encourage people to reduce their risks for developing heart disease. These risk factors include high cholesterol, excessive salt intake, high blood pressure, excess weight, a high‐fat diet, smoking, diabetes and a sedentary lifestyle. This review is an update of all relevant randomised trials that have evaluated an intervention that aimed to reduce more than one risk factor (multiple risk factor intervention) in people without evidence of cardiovascular disease. The findings are from 55 trials of between six months and 12 years duration conducted in several countries over the course of four decades. The median duration of follow up was 12 months (with a range of six months to 12 years). Multiple risk factor intervention does result in small reductions in risk factors including blood pressure, cholesterol and smoking. Contrary to expectations, multiple risk factor interventions had little or no impact on the risk of coronary heart disease mortality or morbidity. This could be because these small risk factor changes were not maintained in the long term. Alternatively, the small reductions in risk factors may be caused by biases in some of the studies. The methods of attempting behaviour change in the general population are limited and do not appear to be effective. Different approaches to behaviour change are needed and should be tested empirically before being widely promoted, particularly in developing countries where cardiovascular disease rates are rising. Further trials may be warranted.
See all (17) ...

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  • Hypertension.
    Lifestyle changes.

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