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How can hypertension lead to heart failure?

ANSWER

Hypertension (high blood pressure) is a major risk factor for heart failure. When you have high blood pressure, the force pushing on the walls of your arteries as blood moves through them is too strong. That pressure hurts your arteries and makes tiny tears in them that can turn into scar tissue, which makes it easier for cholesterol, fat, and other things to build up. That causes your vessels narrow and stiffen.

SOURCES:

American Heart Association: "Heart and Artery Damage and High Blood Pressure;" "Lifestyle Changes for Heart Failure;" "Prevention and Treatment of High Blood Pressure;" and  "What is High Blood Pressure?"

Blood Pressure UK: "Heart Failure and High Blood Pressure."

Manickavasagam, S. Expert Review of Cardiovascular Therapy, 2009.

Stacey Rosen, MD, a cardiologist at Northwell Health in New York and Vice President of Women's Health, Katz Institute for Women's Health, Northwell Health.

Texas Heart Institute: "Heart Failure."

Reviewed by Suzanne R. Steinbaum on October 29, 2017

SOURCES:

American Heart Association: "Heart and Artery Damage and High Blood Pressure;" "Lifestyle Changes for Heart Failure;" "Prevention and Treatment of High Blood Pressure;" and  "What is High Blood Pressure?"

Blood Pressure UK: "Heart Failure and High Blood Pressure."

Manickavasagam, S. Expert Review of Cardiovascular Therapy, 2009.

Stacey Rosen, MD, a cardiologist at Northwell Health in New York and Vice President of Women's Health, Katz Institute for Women's Health, Northwell Health.

Texas Heart Institute: "Heart Failure."

Reviewed by Suzanne R. Steinbaum on October 29, 2017

NEXT QUESTION:

How can keeping your blood pressure in check help you avoid heart failure?

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