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HYPERTENSION WEARS OUT THE HEART

According to the American Heart Association, hypertension is a contributing factor in the 1.1 million heart attacks and more than 300,000 heart attack deaths in the United States each year. Hypertension hurts the heart by pushing it to the limits. Years of overexertion cause the heart to become weak and damaged – the pump just wears out.
Hypertension is the leading risk factor for heart attack, or myocardial infarction (MI). A heart attack occurs when part of the heart’s blood supply is suddenly reduced or cut off, usually due to a blockage in one of the coronary arteries supplying blood to the heart. The portions of the heart muscle that cannot get adequate oxygen and nutrients die. The more extensive the damage, the more serious the heart attack.
Hypertension is also the chief cause of left ventricular hypertrophy, one of the hallmarks of hypertension, especially untreated hypertension. Like any muscle, the heart bulks up with overuse. In particular, the muscular walls of the left ventricle – the discharge chamber that actually pumps blood into the arterial system – thicken and swell. As the walls thicken, the volume of the chamber shrinks, and the amount of blood it can hold and pump throughout the body is reduced. Because the heart is now pumping less blood with each beat, it works even harder to maintain circulation. This may lead to further weakening of the heart – it simply tires out and swells up like a weak balloon. This end-stage disease is called congestive heart failure (CHF). The pumping efficiency of the heart is now so poor that it cannot maintain adequate circulation of the blood. Blood pools in the vessels and the patient becomes weak and has difficulty breathing. The swollen, hypertrophied heart muscle becomes so overburdened that it eventually just stops working.
*19/313/5*

HYPERTENSION WEARS OUT THE HEARTAccording to the American Heart Association, hypertension is a contributing factor in the 1.1 million heart attacks and more than 300,000 heart attack deaths in the United States each year. Hypertension hurts the heart by pushing it to the limits. Years of overexertion cause the heart to become weak and damaged – the pump just wears out.Hypertension is the leading risk factor for heart attack, or myocardial infarction (MI). A heart attack occurs when part of the heart’s blood supply is suddenly reduced or cut off, usually due to a blockage in one of the coronary arteries supplying blood to the heart. The portions of the heart muscle that cannot get adequate oxygen and nutrients die. The more extensive the damage, the more serious the heart attack.Hypertension is also the chief cause of left ventricular hypertrophy, one of the hallmarks of hypertension, especially untreated hypertension. Like any muscle, the heart bulks up with overuse. In particular, the muscular walls of the left ventricle – the discharge chamber that actually pumps blood into the arterial system – thicken and swell. As the walls thicken, the volume of the chamber shrinks, and the amount of blood it can hold and pump throughout the body is reduced. Because the heart is now pumping less blood with each beat, it works even harder to maintain circulation. This may lead to further weakening of the heart – it simply tires out and swells up like a weak balloon. This end-stage disease is called congestive heart failure (CHF). The pumping efficiency of the heart is now so poor that it cannot maintain adequate circulation of the blood. Blood pools in the vessels and the patient becomes weak and has difficulty breathing. The swollen, hypertrophied heart muscle becomes so overburdened that it eventually just stops working.*19/313/5*

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