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How Hypertension Affects Your Heart

Measuring blood pressure of elderly woman

Medically reviewed by Dr. Riaz Ali Shah.

“I am not obese, I exercise daily, and I have never been a great fan of salt. But then, why do I have hypertension?” Despite the staggering prevalence of high blood pressure, or hypertension, which affects one in three people around the world, most people still struggle with its diagnosis. It’s worth investigating why, as continued involvement in your treatment is critical for maintaining optimum blood pressure control.

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common condition in which the stress exerted by the blood against the artery walls over time results in a variety of health issues, including heart problems.

Individuals diagnosed with hypertension are often perplexed, and many wonder, “Why me?” This reservation makes sense in light of the preceding concepts. Symptoms support and make a diagnosis real. However, unlike many other diseases, hypertension seldom causes any symptoms. Indeed, it is forebodingly termed the “silent killer.” While some people experience headaches when their blood pressure rises dangerously high, hypertension in others may go undetected until it results in a fatal heart attack.

How do I know I have hypertension?

While hypertension may develop over time, it is frequently silent, implying it exhibits no potential noticeable symptoms and damages the body in a silent fashion.  Because most people do not regularly check their blood pressure, they do not even know if they have high blood pressure, which is why they are more susceptible to heart attack or stroke. Because of high blood pressure, some people can suffer mild headaches, migraines or nosebleeds. Unfortunately, most people don’t realize that their blood pressure is high until the number reaches a life-threatening level.

Why do many people ignore their hypertension diagnosis?

When people have symptoms, they are more likely to consider a diagnosis. An individual who has a cough and fever would believe a pneumonia diagnosis. However, someone who is in good health would not. When a diagnosis is not severe, people are more receptive. The majority of people will accept the diagnosis of athlete’s foot because creams are available to treat it. Diagnoses with a poor prognosis are typically more difficult to accept.

Dangers of denial

When doctors give the diagnosis of hypertension, they do so with the knowledge that severe complications are likely. Heart attack, kidney failure, and stroke are only a few of the possible complications. Doctors discuss risks with their patients in an attempt to reassure them, but often end up instilling fear. Fear, on the other hand, can result in denial. Is high blood pressure a dangerous condition? Yes, if the condition is allowed to progress unchecked. However, risks are significantly decreased when blood pressure is monitored. The critical message is that managing hypertension effectively will avert serious problems and significantly increase life expectancy.

What causes hypertension?

It is beneficial to understand the underlying cause of a disease. In fact, there is rarely a single cause of hypertension in any person. Almost always, a number of variables are at play. Certain factors, such as genetics and age, are inevitable. Hypertension is often hereditary. We cannot alter our genetic makeup, much as we cannot reverse the ageing process. When people age, their systolic blood pressure and risk of heart disease rise invariably. On the other hand, addressing modifiable risk factors for hypertension, such as weight loss and increased physical activity, often results in positive outcomes.

What is in your control.

What is not in your control.

Commitment is key

The major issue you may experience is having to take multiple pills a day at various times, primarily because you do not feel sick. This is precisely why you should get your blood pressure checked on a regular basis if you have not been diagnosed with hypertension, as there are no symptoms.

On a more positive note, the prevalence of extreme hypertension has decreased. We owe this decline to improved care. Therefore, if you are diagnosed with hypertension, the most critical response is to embrace the diagnosis. Hypertension does not resolve on its own; your dedication to good blood pressure control is the first step.


American Heart Association. (2017). Monitoring Your Blood Pressure at Home. www.heart.org. https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/high-blood-pressure/understanding-blood-pressure-readings/monitoring-your-blood-pressure-at-home. 

Ashley Reaver, M. S. (2020). How to Naturally Prevent And Lower High Blood Pressure. https://blog.insidetracker.com/naturally-prevent-and-lower-high-blood-pressure. 

Khanna. (2021). HYPERTENSION- Know it the Better Way: Blog: Fortis Escorts Hospital Delhi. Fortis Escorts. https://www.fortisescorts.in/blog/hypertension-know-it-the-better-way. 

Naomi D. L. Fisher, M. D. (2016, May 2). High blood pressure: Why me? Harvard Health. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/high-blood-pressure-why-me-201605029288. 

Riaz, M., Shah, G., Asif, M., Shah, A., Adhikari, K., & Abu-Shaheen, A. (2021). Factors associated with hypertension in Pakistan: A systematic review and meta-analysis. PLOS ONE. https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0246085. 

Sullivan, M. (2020). Manage blood pressure and improve heart health blog. Hello Heart. https://www.helloheart.com/blog.



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