Tags: blood pressure | heart attack | correlation | risks

The Blood Pressure and Heart Attack Correlation: Key Risks

Image: The Blood Pressure and Heart Attack Correlation: Key Risks
Close up of blood pressure monitor overlaid with ekg reading.
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By    |   Wednesday, 29 Oct 2014 07:22 PM

High blood pressure is bad enough on its own, but it also harms the arteries because it forces the heart muscle to work harder. High blood pressure can also damage other organs as well as foster conditions for blocked arteries, according to the American Heart Association.

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"Think of it this way: In a home where several faucets are open and running, the water pressure flowing out of any one faucet is lower," the AHA wrote, in explaining the effect of an increased workload on the circulatory system. "But when pipes get clogged and therefore narrow, the pressure is much greater behind the clog. And if all the household water is flowing through only one faucet, the pressure is higher still."

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, or HBP, damages the artery walls, because of the force needed to pump blood through them. Microscopic tears form as a result and turn into scar tissue. The damaged arteries collect cholesterol, fats and other materials, which together are referred to as plaque.

As the plaque gradually builds up, the arteries narrow and harden, causing illnesses like peripheral artery disease and coronary artery disease.

Arteries naturally harden and lose elasticity as people age, but HBP speeds up the process. Damaged arteries can't transport adequate blood flow to the body's organs, which then suffer because they don't receive a full blood supply required to manufacture for nutrients and oxygen.

Years of neglect increases the likelihood of a heart attack, which happens as a result of blood not reaching the heart muscle tissue. A blockage prevents blood supply from reaching a certain part of the heart muscle, limiting the blood supply to the coronary artery — and the victim has a heart attack.

The longer the artery stays blocked, the more severe the attack.

Keeping one's blood pressure in a healthy range can reduce the risk of the walls of blood vessels becoming overstretched and injured, as well as reduce the threat of a heart attack or stroke.

This article is for information only and is not intended as medical advice. Talk with your doctor about your specific health and medical needs.

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High blood pressure is bad enough on its own, but it also harms the arteries because it forces the heart muscle to work harder.
blood pressure, heart attack, correlation, risks
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2014-22-29
Wednesday, 29 Oct 2014 07:22 PM
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