Complications of Hypertension – Hypertension

by Joseph Alpert, MD

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    00:08 Welcome! Hello! I’m Joseph Alpert and I’m here to present the final lecture in the series, “Introduction to Cardiology”. Today’s lecture will deal with one of the commonest cardiovascular diseases in the world today, “high blood pressure”, or the medical term that we use is “hypertension”. You will remember when we talked about lifestyle and drugs for preventing or treating the commonest heart disease that is ischemic heart disease, heart disease of narrowing of the blood vessels in the heart with atherosclerosis, we talked about lifestyle changes. For example, stopping smoking, reducing weight, exercising regularly and so forth, but we also talked about a number of drugs that were proven in large, randomized, double-blind controlled trials to be very effective at making patients with these diseases live longer and have a decreased risk for a heart attack.

    01:07 It turns out that many of these drugs are also used for treating hypertension. And why should we treat hypertension? Because hypertension is one of the major factors that leads to atherosclerosis and a number of other complications. So, the drugs that we’re going to be talking about, here, in this section, are drugs for controlling blood pressure and they include ACE inhibitors and Beta Blockers and diuretics, and I’ll be talking about each of these as we go through the lecture today. So, let’s talk a little bit about what causes high blood pressure. It turns out that it’s a very simple relationship in the body between blood pressure, the amount of blood that’s pumped by the heart - the cardiac output and the resistance of the small vessels, the small blood vessels throughout the body.

    01:58 In fact, it’s the same relationship that we use in electricity. In electricity, we say that the voltage is equal to the current times the resistance in the wire. Well, in the cardiovascular system, it’s the same thing. The blood pressure is equal to the cardiac output that is the amount of blood that the heart pumps out times the resistance in the small blood vessels. It turns out that most patients with high blood pressure have an increased resistance in their small blood vessels throughout the body. We call it increased peripheral vascular resistance. And when you pump blood against this resistance, it of course, increases the blood pressure. It turns out that in the United States, approximately 1/3rd of the population have a blood pressure that’s too high. Think about that for a moment. The United States has a population of about 320 million people. That means there’s something like 106 or 107 million people in the United States whose blood pressure is too high. And what are the complications of high blood pressure? They are very serious.

    03:10 First of all, hypertension or high blood pressure is the number one risk factor for stroke - one of the most dreaded diseases. Also, hypertension is a risk factor for an increased likelihood of having a heart attack, a myocardial infarction. Hypertension also increases the risk that you will develop heart failure and kidney failure and dementia - that is lack of intellectual capacity. It also is a risk factor for the development of atrial fibrillation and it markedly decreases life expectancy, if untreated. So, clearly, hypertension needs to be identified and it needs to be treated. And of course, it’s treated with lifestyle changes. We’ll be talking about that, things like restricting the amount of sodium you’re taking, the amount of salt you’re taking in your diet, as well as regular exercise and weight loss alongside of drugs to help lower the blood pressure.

    04:09 Let’s talk about what happens when you don’t treat blood pressure? I’m going to give you a case history of a very, very famous patient who died of a brain hemorrhage because of untreated hypertension. What you see here plotted out in green is the blood pressure of this very famous individual. I’m going to tell you who he was in a moment. Over a number of years, you’ll notice, on the left hand part of the slide, the blood pressure was normal early on, back in the 1930’s and early 40’s. But, as time progressed, you can see the blood pressure in this individual got higher and higher and higher until they had a major stroke, a brain hemorrhage. Who was this individual? It was President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who was president during the Second World War in the United States and of course, was under intense pressure because of the World War and because at that time, there were no good drugs for treating high blood pressure. And as you can see from the newspaper headline here, his doctors were surprised. How come he had this brain hemorrhage? This was back in 1945, it was before we really understood all of the implications of high blood pressure. So, here was a very famous individual who died relatively young because of untreated high blood pressure. Well, at that time, there

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Complications of Hypertension – Hypertension by Joseph Alpert, MD is from the course Introduction to Cardiac Diseases.

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Diabetes
    2. Brain hemorrhage
    3. MI
    4. Kidney failure
    5. Atrial fibrillation
    1. Diabetes
    2. Systemic Lupus Erythromatosis
    3. Marfans syndrome
    4. Scaled skin syndrome
    5. Downs syndrome
    1. Cardiac output x vascular resistance
    2. Heartbeats per minute x cardiac output
    3. Ejection fraction x vascular resistance
    4. Ejection fraction x cardiac output
    5. Cardiac output x heartbeats per minute

    Author of lecture Complications of Hypertension – Hypertension

     Joseph Alpert, MD

    Joseph Alpert, MD

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    By Barbara K. on 21. September 2017 for Complications of Hypertension – Hypertension

    The lecture in a very clear way explains the crucial mechanisms of Hypertension and helps to understand and remember forever these complex mechanisms