How High Blood Pressure Can Lead to Heart Failure

Heart failure is when your heart is unable to pump enough blood to the body. It can happen quickly or take years to develop. Heart failure is caused by many factors, including the thickening and/or stiffening of the heart’s walls and blood vessels that have become narrow from uncontrolled high blood pressure.

  • High blood pressure adds to your heart’s workload: When arteries become narrow and less flexible, it’s harder for blood to travel throughout your body. This causes your heart to work harder.
  • Over time, a higher workload leads to an enlarged heart: To deal with increased demands, the heart muscle thickens and becomes larger. The heart can still pump blood, but 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.

heart failure

Don’t let high blood pressure lead to heart failure:

Support That Lifts You Up

Recovery from a heart condition becomes so much more manageable when you have the right kind of emotional support. We’re an online community of patients, survivors and caregivers who know what you’re going through and can help you find your footing on the path to better health.
human ladder to climb a wall