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How High Blood Pressure Can Lead to a Heart Attack?
by admin | May 27, 2021 | Causes | 2 comments

High blood pressure (HBP), a condition in which the force of the blood against the artery walls is too high, is usually defined when the blood pressure rises above 130/80 mg/dl. HBP is a chronic condition, and if it is left undetected or uncontrolled for a long time it can cause hypertensive heart disease and heart attack.

Read on this article to know more about the connection between hypertension and heart attack

How does high blood pressure can cause heart attack?

High blood pressure damages the wall of arteries and decreases the flow of blood and oxygen to heart, thus leading to ischemic heart disease. Reduced blood flow to the heart can cause severe chest pain, also called angina. Over a time, when blood flow gets blocked completely and the heart muscle starves of oxygen, it can lead to a heart attack.

Make sure to monitor your blood pressure regularly and if your number reads:

  • 120–129mmHg -it is elevated hypertension
  • 130–139mmHg – it’s called stage 1 hypertension
  • Top number (systolic pressure) is 140 or above, its stage 2 hypertension
  • Over 180, its considered as hypertensive crisis

Consult a doctor immediately.

What are the common symptoms of hypertension and heart attack?

Some of the common signs of high blood pressure that may lead to heart attack, includes:

  • Tightness or pressure, pain, or a squeezing or aching sensation in your chest 
  • Pain in the jaws, neck, back, arms, or shoulders
  • Nausea, indigestion, heartburn or abdominal pain
  • Cold sweat
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Severe headaches
  • Nosebleed
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Fatigue
  • Blood in the urine
  • Leg or ankle swelling

What happens to your blood pressure numbers during heart attack?

Your blood pressure might rise or fall down during a heart attack because certain hormones level, such as adrenaline, fluctuate due stress or tightness in the chest. If the top number (systolic pressure) during blood pressure test is persistently above 180 or lower than 90, or your diastolic blood pressure (the lower number) is greater than 110 or lower than 50, do not delay consulting your healthcare specialist/cardiologist. 

What are the causes of high blood pressure?

Blood pressure becomes high due to unhealthy lifestyle choices and it develops gradually over time. Some of the key factors that prone us to develop high blood pressure include: 

  • Lack of physical activity
  • Eating too much salt (sodium) in diet 
  • Lack of potassium in diet
  • Being overweight
  • Older age
  • Stress
  • Genetics
  • Smoking and tobacco chewing
  • Too much consumption of alcohol

Why healthy, fit people leading an active life get heart attacks and sudden cardiac arrest?

Nowadays, those who appear fit and are particular about their diet and exercise have also been found succumbing to heart attack. Possibly due to today’s high-pressure lifestyle, heart attacks are striking more at a younger population – those in their 30s and 40s. 

Researchers explain individuals having family history of cardiac disease are at risk of developing block in the artery, and are unaware of it unless they undergo cardiac scan. Sudden emotion or high intensity exercise can suddenly blocks the blood flow entirely to a portion of the heart, which leads to a sudden cardiac arrest. So if you or anyone in your family is above the age of 35, have family history of Cardiovascular, Diabetes, Cerebrovascular disease, or planning to initiate exercise program make sure to get an annual cardiac check-up done, even if no possible signs or symptoms is noted. This might help your doctor to pick up any blockage at an early stage and prevent any unwanted complications to happen.

Can high blood pressure be cured?

High blood pressure or hypertension is a chronic disease, and there is, unfortunately, no cure for it. You can only keep it in control with medication and healthy lifestyle choices.

If you’re a high blood pressure patient, you need to continue with your prescribed medicines lifelong to ward off any serious health complications like heart attack. 

Make sure to take your medication as directed by the doctor and attend regular medical follow up without a fail.

What lifestyle modifications are essential to lower the risk of high blood pressure that can lead to heart attack?

Lifestyle changes you can make to keep your blood pressure numbers in control and heart attack at bay includes:

  • Shed-off extra weight and maintain your BMI to normal
  • Follow a regular exercise regimen 
  • Eat a balanced diet that is rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy.
  • Reduce salt (sodium) intake to minimal
  • Say no to packaged foods like chips, cooking, or any ready to eat stuff available in market
  • Cut saturated fat intake completely
  • Limit alcohol intake to only 1 or 2 drinks a week
  • Quit smoking and tobacco chewing.
  • Cut on caffeine intake
  • Meditate or practice a hobby to reduce your stress
  • Sleep well for at least 6 to 7 hours every night
  • Never miss on your high blood pressure medications
  • Go for regular health check-up

So, if you’re 18 years or above, get your blood pressure checked at least once a year to keep a check on your numbers. However, getting more frequent blood pressure readings becomes essential if you are above 40 years, have a family history of hypertension, or you’re dealing with any lifestyle diseases like diabetes, high cholesterol, kidney issue, any cardiovascular risk profile or any other chronic disease – to avoid dreadful complication like heart disease or chances of sudden heart attack.

Stay aware to stay healthy!

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