Hypertensive Disorder denote heart conditions caused by high blood pressure. When the pressure on the heart increases, it causes various heart disorders. Hypertensive disorder include heart failure, thickening of the heart muscle, coronary heart disease, etc.
High blood pressure are considered to be the leading cause of death from high blood pressure. As per stats, around 116 million people in the US have Hypertension.
This blog will be focused on discussing hypertensive disorder, their prevalence, types, and how hypertensive disorders affect pregnant women and their management.
What are the Types of Hypertensive Disorder?
Heart disorders related to high blood pressure usually entail arteries and muscles of the heart. The different types of Hypertensive disorders include:
Narrowing of Arteries:
Coronary arteries are responsible for the transport of blood to the heart muscles. when the blood pressure is abnormally high the blood vessels become narrow, restricting the blood flow to the heart. This condition is called Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) or Coronary Artery Disease.
Thickening And Enlargement of the Heart:
With high blood pressure levels, the strain on the heart muscles increases, resulting in the thickening of the heart muscles. This impacts the way the heart normally functions. Such changes are more common in the pumping chamber of the heart, the left ventricle. This is called Left Ventricular Hypertrophy (LVH).
Complications of Hypertensive Disorders
Both LVH and CHD if not treated timely can lead to severe complications:
- Heart failure.
- Ischemic heart disease.
- Heart attack.
- Sudden cardiac arrest.
Who Is At Risk?
Heart diseases are one of the common causes of death in men, women, and people of diverse races and ethnicities. As per stats, one person dies every 34 seconds due to heart disorders.
The major risk for heart disease is hypertension. Others include:
- Sedentary lifestyle.
- Dietary habits (food high in cholesterol and fat).
Hypertensive Disorders in Pregnancy
The most common cause of pregnancy-related death in the US is Hypertensive Disorders in pregnancy, which can result in serious complications for expectant mothers such as heart attacks and strokes. Both chronic hypertension that started before pregnancy and persisted through pregnancy as well as pregnancy-associated hypertension that started during or after pregnancy are included.
According to studies, women with a history of pregnancy-related hypertensive disorder are at high risk for developing cardiovascular conditions. Therefore, addressing hypertensive disorders is crucial in improving the overall health of pregnant women.
To treat Hypertensive disorders in pregnant women, clinicians can employ a variety of techniques to recognize, keep track of, and treat pregnant women who have hypertension problems in order to avoid serious complications and fatalities. Home blood pressure monitoring before, during, and after pregnancy is a prime example.
Types of Hypertensive Disorders in Pregnancy
- Chronic Hypertension: When women having normal blood pressure suddenly develop hypertension after 20 weeks.
- Gestational Hypertension: It is diagnosed around 20 weeks into pregnancy or near delivery. It vanishes after delivery.
- Preeclampsia-Eclampsia: It is the most common type of hypertensive disorder in pregnant women.
- Chronic Hypertension With Superimposed Preeclampsia: Women with primary or secondary hypertension develop preeclampsia.
Inclusion Of Pregnant Women In Clinical Trials
Including pregnant women in Clinical Trials is a topic of debate for Clinical Researchers. Generally, pregnant women are exclude from any sort of Clinical Trial due to undue effects that could potentially harm the baby. However, in certain circumstances, it might be scientifically and ethically correct to include pregnant women in Clinical Trials.
Including pregnant women in our opinion could prove beneficial for them as they experience a variety of conditions throughout the pregnancy phase that includes hypertension, gestational diabetes, and other condition that could potentially harm the baby if not appropriately treated. In such cases, Clinical Trials can help in finding a definite treatment to cater to conditions faced by pregnant women.
Preventing Hypertensive Disorders
One of the most crucial steps in preventing hypertensive disorder is to keep an eye on your blood pressure and take steps to keep it from rising too high. One of the greatest methods to prevent heart problems is to lower your blood pressure and cholesterol by eating a balanced diet and keeping an eye on your stress levels. Common lifestyle recommendations include keeping a healthy weight, getting enough sleep, and exercising frequently.
Treatment Options for Hypertensive Disorders
Lifestyle modifications and medications are the two treatment options that could potentially benefit an individual with a hypertensive disorder.
Way of Life Modification:
Lifestyle changes can help control hypertension. Following a healthy dietary routine is the key:
- Eating a balanced diet with low salt intake
- Physical activity
- Weight management
- Avoid smoking
- Limit alcohol consumption
- Getting 7-8 hours of sleep
The selection of hypertension medication depends on overall health and your levels of blood pressure. Sometimes, two or more blood pressure medicines work better than a single drug. Medicines commonly used for hypertensive disorders include:
- Diuretics: These drugs help to eliminate sodium and water from the body. They are usually the first line of treatment in hypertensive patients.
- ACE Inhibitors: These drugs block the formation of a natural chemical that narrows blood vessels.
- Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs): The drugs block the working of a natural chemical that narrows the blood vessels resulting in the tapering of blood pressure levels.
- Calcium channel blockers: These drugs help relax the muscles of blood vessels.
- Alpha-blockers: These drugs block the nerve signals to the blood vessels.
- Alpha beta-blockers: These drugs block the nerve signals to blood vessels, lowering the heart rate.
- Aldosterone antagonists: These drugs are used in the treatment of resistant hypertension.
Prognosis For Hypertensive Disorders
Recovery from hypertensive disorders heavily relies on lifestyle and dietary habits. It also depends on the condition and its severity. In severe cases, surgeries and medications may not be effective in managing hypertensive disorders.
Hypertension and hypertensive disorders can have a disturbing effect on one’s general well-being. It can cause severe complications resulting in deterioration of health if not managed in time. Therefore, it is important to keep an eye on your symptoms and consult your physician if you notice any changes in your blood pressure levels or symptoms affecting your heart health.