Heart Disease and Hypertension

Our heart is a muscle. A muscle that works like a pump. It purifies impure blood and keeps all the organs of the body healthy and functioning.
Heart diseases mean a range of conditions that affect the different parts and functions of the heart namely blood vessels, heart valves, heart muscles, and heart rhythm.

Some of the most common conditions are –

  • Coronary Artery disease – When the blood supplying coronary arteries to the heart get blocked.
  • Heart arrhythmias – When the heartbeat is irregular.
  • Heart failure – When your heart doesn’t pump enough blood to the different parts of the body.
  • Heart valve disease – When the heart valve doesn’t open and close the right way.
  • Endocarditis – When a bacterial infection enters the body and resides in the heart affecting the heart valves.
  • Rheumatic heart disease – When the heart muscles and valves are damaged by rheumatic fever.
  • Pericardial disease – Pericardium is the sac that surrounds the heart and if this sac gets inflamed or infected it leads to Pericardial disease.
  • Cardiomyopathy – This is when the heart muscle thickens, stiffens, or gets stretched, weakening the ability of the heart to pump blood.
  • Congenital heart disease – This occurs when the heart develops a deformity while the baby is in the womb. It usually leads to complications after birth.

Although the symptoms of heart attack are different, we have listed some of the most common ones that people should be aware of.

  • Breathlessness.
  • Chest pain.
  • Irregular heartbeats.
  • Dizziness.
  • Nausea.
  • Tiredness.
  • Swelling on hands and feet.
  • Cough.
  • Fainting spells.
Irregular Heart Beats - Sukino

Let’s look at the causes

  • Age damages and narrows down arteries and thickens and weakens the heart muscles.
  • Men are at a higher risk than women. The women become more susceptible after menopause.
  • A family history increases the risk of coronary artery disease.
  • Nicotine in cigarettes tightens blood vessels, and carbon monoxide damages the inner lining.
  • High fat, salt sugar, and cholesterol diet contribute to heart disease.
  • Unmanaged high blood pressure hardens and thickens arteries eventually restricting the flow of blood through them.
  • Cholesterol forms plaque in the arteries and blocks them.
  • Diabetes.
  • Obesity.
  • Irregular exercising.
  • Stress.
  • Poor oral and dental hygiene can cause germs to travel through the blood and into the heart causing endocarditis.

Heart disease treatment varies according to the disease but the general treatment includes

  • Lifestyle management – Exercising, quitting smoking, having the right diet.
  • Medications
  • Medical procedure or surgery.
  • Cardiac Rehab – A customized program that helps patients recover from heart disease or surgery. Comprehensive heart treatment in Bangalore is offered by hospitals as well as continuum care centers that offer cardiac rehab.

There is one condition that is linked the most to heart diseases. Hypertension is commonly known as high blood pressure. Hence they say to keep the stress levels low.

This is what happens. The increased pressure in the blood flowing through the arteries exerts a constant force on their walls. This decreases the elasticity of the arteries which in turn reduces the flow of blood and oxygen to the heart. Now if the arteries have narrowed down due to any medical condition that we have mentioned above the pressure in turn increases and it can lead to a heart attack or a stroke.

Unfortunately, high blood pressure goes unnoticed for most people as they don’t show symptoms.

A few people may though experience headaches, breathlessness and nosebleeds.
The best bet is to get blood pressure checked regularly if you fall into the risk bracket or are above the age of 40 years.

FAQs

How does hypertension cause heart disease?

The increased pressure in the blood flowing through the arteries exerts a constant force on their walls. This decreases the elasticity of the arteries which in turn reduces the flow of blood and oxygen to the heart. Now if the arteries have narrowed down due to any medical condition that we have mentioned above the pressure in turn increases and it can lead to a heart attack or a stroke.

What is the relationship between hypertension and cardiovascular disease?

According to NCBI, High blood pressure (BP) is one of the most important risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD), which is the leading cause of mortality. Approximately 54% of strokes and 47% of coronary heart diseases, worldwide, are attributable to high BP.

How long can you live with hypertension?

If unmanaged, a person with hypertension has an 80% chance of death within a year. People with treated hypertension live up to 5 years longer.