What is it?

Hypertensive heart disease refers to heart conditions caused by high blood pressure. The heart working under increased pressure causes some different heart disorders including heart failure, thickening and enlargement of the heart, coronary artery disease, and other conditions. Hypertensive heart disease can cause serious health problems. It’s the leading cause of death from high blood pressure.

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Signs & symptoms

Symptoms vary depending on the severity of the condition and progression of the disease. You may experience no symptoms, or your symptoms may include:
- chest pain
- feeling tightness or pressure in the chest
- shortness of breath
- fatigue
- pain in the neck, back, arms, or shoulders
- persistent cough
- loss of appetite
- leg or ankle swelling

Diagnosis

Your doctor will review your medical history, conduct a physical exam, and run lab tests to check your kidneys, sodium, potassium, and blood count.
One or more of the following tests may be used to help determine the cause of your symptoms:
- Electrocardiogram (ECG) to monitor and record your heart electrical activity.
- Echocardiogram in order to show a detailed picture of your heart using ultrasound.
- Coronary angiography to examine the flow of blood through your coronary arteries.
- Exercise stress test to understand how exercise affects your heart..
- Nuclear stress test to examine the flow of blood into the heart.

Treatment

Treatment for hypertensive heart disease depends on the seriousness of your illness, your age, and your medical history. Your doctor may offer you medications, surgery or devices as possible treatments:
Medication: The main goals are to prevent your blood from clotting, improve the flow of your blood, and lower your cholesterol. It’s important to always take all medications exactly as prescribed.
Examples of common heart disease medications include:
- water pills to help lower blood pressure
- nitrates to treat chest pain
- statins to treat high cholesterol
- calcium channel blockers and ACE inhibitors to help lower blood pressure
- aspirin to prevent blood clots
Surgeries and devices: In more extreme cases, you may need surgery to increase blood flow to your heart. If you need help regulating your heart’s rate or rhythm, your doctor may surgically implant a battery-operated device called a pacemaker in your chest. Cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) are implantable devices that can be used to treat serious, life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias. There are more surgical options like Coronary artery bypass graft surgery or A heart transplant that can be offered in severe cases.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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