How Are Hypertension, Heart Disease And Stroke Related?
In this post, I will answer the question: How are hypertension, heart disease and stroke related? It’s important to answer this question because you ought to know how to take care of your health.
These three conditions are often bunched together because of various reasons related to your body’s physiological function. Let’s first define each condition.
What is Hypertension?
Hypertension is a condition wherein the blood pressure is elevated than normal. The normal blood pressure for adults is typically 120/80 to 140/90. When your blood pressure goes beyond these values, you have hypertension.
There are many causes of hypertension, such as:
- Atherosclerosis - hardening of the blood vessels because of the formation of fat plaques on the walls of these blood vessels.
- Essential hypertension - the hypertension has no specific cause but it runs in the family. When your mother has essential hypertension, you would most likely have the condition too.
- Physiological hypertension - this is hypertension caused by non-pathological conditions, such as exercise, stress and anxiety. When these stimuli are eliminated your blood pressure goes back to normal.
Therefore, when your blood pressure shoots up, and there is no apparent pathological reason, most probably, you may just be tired or stressed out. Take a short break and rest for a while.
After an hour or so, if your blood pressure still is elevated, you have to consult your physician immediately. Don’t delay because your condition may require prompt medical attention. If a clinic is nearby, it’s best to consult a doctor even at the onset of your hypertension.
What is a Heart Disease?
As the term implies, this is a disease of the heart. Examples are cardiac failure, myocardial infarction, cardiomyopathy, heart failure, rheumatic heart, myocardial infarction (heart attack) and other diseases.
Causes of heart diseases:
- Congenital or inherited - this are inborn or present at birth
- Hypertension - one of the primary causes of cardiovascular destruction
- Smoking - this also affects the lungs
- Atherosclerosis or elevated cholesterol - values of more than 250 mg/dL
- Diabetes mellitus or elevated glucose - values of more than 120 mg/dL
What is a Stroke?
Stroke, scientifically called, cerebrovascular attack (CVA) is a condition when the blood- flow to a certain portion of the brain is cut off due to an aneurysm, or a fat plaque, or a clot. The cells in that portion of the brain die.
If not treated promptly, this can be fatal and can cause death or debilitation.
Now that you know what these conditions are, we can now answer the question:
How are Hypertension, Heart Disease and Stroke Related?
They are related because of the following facts:
#1. In hypertension, the pressure of blood used through the body’s circulation is increased. This will make the heart pump harder in order to bring blood to the different parts of the body.
This can happen in atherosclerosis, when the blood vessels become smaller because fat deposits or plaques are amassed on the walls of the blood vessels. The heart then has to pump harder to let the blood flow through the blocked blood vessels.
#2. When the heart exerts more pressure than it normally does, this gives additional workload to your heart. This would make your heart more prone to pathological conditions because it’s being overworked. It becomes susceptible to diseases.
#3. Likewise, when blood exerts more pressure in the blood vessels, the fragile and weak blood vessels in the brain have the propensity to burst and brain aneurysm can occur.
#4. Thus, these conditions are inter-related. Hypertension can damage your heart and the cardiovascular system because the heart and the blood vessels have to work harder. It is one of the reasons for the other two: heart diseases and stroke.
To know more about the relationship of hypertension and stroke, watch these videos:
I have answered the question: How are hypertension, heart disease and stroke related? And you have learned that they are related to each other because hypertension can cause or aggravate heart diseases and stroke.
Hence, it’s crucial to remember that you have to manage your blood pressure and maintain it at normal levels to prevent hypertension. This is because you can end up having a heart disease or a stroke.
If you have an experience related to this topic, you may want to share it with our readers. I’m sure they would appreciate it a lot.