Which cardiovascular diseases are caused by direct or indirect effects of hypertension (high blood pressure)?

Updated: Feb 22, 2019
  • Author: Matthew R Alexander, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Eric H Yang, MD  more...
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Uncontrolled and prolonged BP elevation can lead to a variety of changes in the myocardial structure, coronary vasculature, and conduction system of the heart. These changes in turn can lead to the development of left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH), coronary artery disease, various conduction system diseases, and systolic and diastolic dysfunction of the myocardium, which manifest clinically as angina or myocardial infarction, cardiac arrhythmias (especially atrial fibrillation), and congestive heart failure (CHF). Thus, hypertensive heart disease is a term applied generally to heart diseases—such as LVH, coronary artery disease, cardiac arrhythmias, and CHF—that are caused by direct or indirect effects of elevated BP.

Although these diseases generally develop in response to chronically elevated BP, marked and acute elevation of BP can also lead to accentuation of an underlying predisposition to any of the symptoms traditionally associated with chronic hypertension.

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