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High Blood Pressure

Ways to help reduce size of an enlarged heart

07/07/2000

Question:

How long can it take to shrink an enlarged heart (mine is 50% larger in the lower left quadrant)? I take lipitor and lopressor. Can it take years and can it be completely reduced or just partially? How can I help this process? What diet is best? Please advise. Thank you.

Answer:

High blood pressure can cause an enlargement of the heart muscle, mainly of the left heart chamber. This is called left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH). LVH is a risk factor for heart failure and other forms of heart disease. The best way to treat LVH is to control blood pressure, avoid cigarette smoking and to follow a healthy diet.

LVH can be reversed. This process usually takes several months to years and in some cases improvement is complete. When LVH improves, the risk for heart disease also improves.

Detailed information on a healthy diet for patients with high blood pressure can be found at the website of the American Heart Association.

Related Resources:

American Heart Association

For more information:

Go to the High Blood Pressure health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Max C Reif, MD Max C Reif, MD
Professor of Medicine
Director of Hypertension Section
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati