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IAC

Hypertensive heart disease/Hypertension

  • Definition:  
    • Hypertensive heart disease is a heart condition characterized y thickening of the heart muscle in response to an elevated blood pressure that is must endure on a minute-to-minute, day-to-day basis.  As the heart muscle squeezes blood forward, it must push against an increased blood pressure in the setting of hypertension.  In an effort to respond to this increased stress load upon the heart, the heart muscle thickens.  This increased thickness of the walls results in a diminished ability for the heart muscle to relax after each contraction.  This may lead to shortness of breath during exertion. 
  • Prevention: 
    • The first step to avoid hypertensive heart disease is to avoid any vices, such as: drinking, smoking or using drugs.
    • The second step is to avoid stress, taking time to relax and prioritize the things you must do on a daily basis so you are not rushing or under pressure. Do not take in more than you can chew, as the saying says.
    • A very important third step is to watch your diet. Avoid sugar and other refined carbohydrates, salt and fat. Eat a lot of fiber. Also watch your weight. It is important for your vascular system's health not to have extra baggage, the leaner the better.
    • The importance of regular exercise can not be stressed enough. It will keep your whole circulatory system working at it's best plus it will help you control your weight.
    • An important fifth step is to control your cholesterol and diabetes is you suffer from it. Controlling these two are of utmost importance if you also have high blood pressure.
    • If you are already showing some symptoms of heart disease, taking the medicines your doctor has recommended is crucial to maintain your health. In more serious cases, your doctor might recommend surgery of the heart or its systems.
  • Treatment:  The goals of treatment are to reduce blood pressure and control the heart disease. Treatment of heart disease depends on the conditions that are present (acute myocardial infarction, angina, heart failure, and so on).
    • Common medications include:
      • Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors
      • Angiotensin II receptor antagonists
      • Beta blockers
      • Calcium channel blockers
      • Direct vasodilators
      • Diuretics
    • Blood pressure should be checked at regular intervals (as recommended by your health care provider) to monitor the condition. Frequent blood pressure measurements taken at home are often recommended for people with difficult-to-control high blood pressure.
    • In addition to medications, recommended lifestyle changes include:
      • Dietary adjustments –
        • Avoiding trans fats and saturated fats
        • Increasing fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products
        • Reducing sale intake may be beneficial
        • Whole grains, poultry, and fish are also generally recommended
      • Exercise
      • Reducing excessive alcohol consumption may also help
      • Stopping smoking -- cigarettes are a major cause of hypertension-related heart disease
      • Weight loss

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Leonard J.Scuderi, M.D., F.A.C.C.
Cardiologist and Cardiovascular Disease Specialist
CardioFit Medical Group, Inc.
23456 Hawthorne Blvd, Suite 250
Torrance, CA   90505
Phone 310-791-5577
Fax 310-791-
5575