Low Blood Pressure Can Be a Sign of Heart Disease

Throughout recent history, the discussion surrounding blood pressure has consistently been regarding the high blood pressure epidemic. This is, in part, thanks to the dangerous health ramifications of hypertension (high blood pressure); “organs and blood vessels can be damaged.” In addition, hypertension can result in the “rupture of a blood vessel and lead to bleeding or other complications.”  It is a commonly accepted fact that “within certain limits, the lower your blood pressure reading is, the better.” However, dangerously low blood pressure is also a cause for concern, as it has the potential to result in long-lasting health issues — namely heart disease.

Spotting the Warning Signs of Critically Low Blood Pressure

For many individuals, hypotension (low blood pressure) is no reason to worry — desirable, even. But for others, abnormally low blood pressure can manifest in a variety of health issues. The majority of medical professionals “will only consider chronically low blood pressure as dangerous if it causes noticeable signs and symptoms”. For this reason, it is crucial that individuals familiarize themselves with the warning signs of low blood pressure — all ranging in their severity — so that it may be treated properly and in a timely manner. Such symptoms may include dizziness, lightheadedness, fainting, blurred or fading vision, fatigue, nausea, lack of concentration, etc. In patients with more dire cases, “low blood pressure can be life-threatening.” Patients’ bodies may go into shock as a result of extreme hypotension, causing a weak or rapid pulse; rapid, shallow breathing; cold, clammy, pale skin; and confusion, especially in older individuals. People who encounter signs of shock are advised to immediately “seek emergency medical help.” Although most instances of low blood pressure merely necessitate routine examination to monitor readings, “it’s important to see your doctor if you have signs or symptoms of low blood pressure because they can point to more serious problems.”

A blood pressure reading is a quantified report of “the pushing of the blood against the artery walls” that occurs in conjunction with each heartbeat. According to the Mayo Clinic, a blood pressure reading is typically considered low if it is “lower than 90 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) for the top number (systolic) or 60 mm Hg for the bottom number (diastolic)”. The systolic measurement is “the measurement of your blood pumping through your arteries when the ventricles of the heart squeeze,” while the diastolic measurement is “the measurement for the periods of rest”.

Heart Disease & Hypotension

Although each and every individual will, at some point in their lives, experience a drop in blood pressure for one reason or another, “certain conditions can cause prolonged periods of hypotension that can become dangerous if left untreated.” Unfortunately, there are several types of heart problems that may cause low blood pressure, in addition to other more widely associated symptoms of heart disease.

Low blood pressure may be a potential complication of the following heart conditions:

As a consequence of the aforementioned medical issues, a patient’s “heart may not be able to circulate enough blood to meet your body’s needs,” provoking low blood pressure.

Treatment Methods

It is important to note that “a single lower-than-normal reading is not [a] cause for alarm unless you are experiencing any other symptoms or problems.” However, if a patient confronts symptoms associated with hypotension on a consistent basis, it is crucial to pursue timely and thorough treatment. An individual’s prescribed course of treatment will depend on the route cause of their hypotension, and “could include medications for heart disease, diabetes, or infection.” Each form of hypotension requires a different path of treatment. For instance:

Patients don’t have to address their low blood pressure concerns all on their own. Dr. Beheshtian is an interventional cardiologist who has treated over 1000 patients, in New York and elsewhere. She is extremely knowledgeable about treatment paths for various types of cases, mild or complex. Please feel free to contact Avicenna Cardiology’s office with any questions. Schedule a telehealth appointment or come in soon to see Dr. Beheshtian, who will work with you to create a care plan.

About the Author

Azadeh Beheshtian

Azadeh Beheshtian is board certified in cardiovascular disease and internal medicine by the American Board of Internal Medicine. She specializes in interventional cardiology and peripheral artery disease, with a focus on women’s heart health.