How High Blood Pressure Can Lead to Heart Failure
Is there a link between HBP and heart failure?
Heart failure, a condition in which your heart is unable to provide enough blood to the body, can happen quickly or take years to develop. The thickening and/or stiffening of the heart’s walls, as well as narrowing and constriction of blood vessels caused by high blood pressure, are the most common non-cardiac causes of heart failure.
- High blood pressure adds to your heart’s workload: Narrowed arteries that are less elastic make it more difficult for blood to travel efficiently throughout your body. This causes your heart to work harder.
- Over time, a higher workload leads to an enlarged heart: To cope with increased demands, the heart thickens and becomes larger. While it's still able to pump blood, it becomes less efficient. The larger the heart becomes, the harder it works to meet your body's demands for oxygen and nutrients.
Watch an interactive animation of heart failure.
Don’t let high blood pressure lead to heart failure:
- Get the fact sheet on heart failure: English (PDF) | Spanish (PDF)
- Know your blood pressure numbers
- Make changes that matter to help prevent heart failure