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Caused by a wide variety of factors, hypertension (high blood pressure) can cause severe heart damage if left untreated. Generally, hypertension causes the heart to work harder, thereby wearing it out faster.
While some forms of hypertension are genetic, high blood pressure is most often the result of Stress, and a high-fat, high-Sodium diet. Coffee consumption, Smoking, drinking alcohol, and lack of exercise also contribute to hypertension. Studies have shown that overweight individuals also carry higher risks of heart damage due to high blood pressure.
Hypertensive heart disease eventually causes death from congestive heart failure or coronary artery disease, or complications such as cerebral haemorrhage and uraemia.
1. Yamamoto ME, Applegate WB, Klag MJ, et al. Lack of blood pressure effect with Calcium and Magnesium supplementation in adults with high-normal blood pressure: Results from phase I of the Trials of Hypertension Prevention (TOHP). Ann Epidemiol 5: 96-107, 1995.