Current Cardiology Reports

, 11:422

Hypertension and diastolic heart failure


DOI: 10.1007/s11886-009-0061-5

Cite this article as:
Gradman, A.H. & Travis Wilson, J. Curr Cardiol Rep (2009) 11: 422. doi:10.1007/s11886-009-0061-5


In patients with hypertension, pressure overload leads to left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH), myocardial fibrosis, and impaired diastolic filling without systolic dysfunction. Presently, diastolic heart failure accounts for about 50% of the heart failure population. Fatigue, dyspnea, reduced exercise tolerance, and peripheral edema are common presenting complaints. As a group, patients with diastolic heart failure are older and predominantly female. Diuretics are effective for treating congestive symptoms. β Blockers and heart rate-lowering calcium blockers show benefit in smaller studies but have not been evaluated in definitive clinical trials. Renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system blockers reduce blood pressure, LVH, and myocardial fibrosis; however, long-term studies with angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers demonstrate little effect on symptoms or survival, and inconsistent effects on heart failure hospitalization. At present, evidence-based treatment includes antihypertensive therapy to reduce progression from hypertension to heart failure. In patients with established heart failure, diuretics and other empiric treatments are used to control symptoms.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Cardiovascular DiseaseThe Western Pennsylvania HospitalPittsburghUSA

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