What Happens to Blood Pressure During a Heart Attack?

Just as there are many different symptoms of a heart attack, heart attacks also affect the blood pressure in different ways. What many people want to know is this: what, if anything, happens to blood pressure during a heart attack?

Unfortunately, the answer isn’t a one size fits all solution. For instance, different people experience different blood pressure responses as their body experiences the trauma of cardiac arrest, heart disease, or other cardiac problems that precipitate an attack. In some people, their blood pressure drops during a heart attack, and, for others, it increases. Let’s find out why.

Blood Pressure Drops

Some people experience a drop in blood pressure, known as hypotension, during a heart attack in response to damage to tissues surrounding the heart being starved of oxygen and/or blood flow. This means the amount of blood your heart is pumping, and the corresponding pressure drops suddenly and quickly, creating lower blood pressure.

Additionally, heart attacks can experience an extreme stress response to the pain of a heart attack that results in a sudden drop in blood pressure that occasionally causes fainting.

Blood Pressure Remains the Same

Some people experiencing a heart attack will experience no change in blood pressure. It will remain consistent throughout the actual attack.

This is not at all uncommon during a heart attack and should not be used to rule out or confirm one is taking place.

Increasing Blood Pressure During a Cardiac Episode

Still, other people have the opposite reaction. Their blood pressure increases. This may be the result of a “fight or flight” response or even a response to an adrenaline surge released as the body recognizes a state of danger or extreme stress. When this occurs, the heart beats faster and stronger, which can result in rising blood pressure throughout the body.

Seek Medical Attention for a Heart Attack or Heart Disease

Because there are so many things that can occur during a heart attack, changes in blood pressure, without any other heart attack symptoms cannot be a reliable indicator of a potential heart attack. While chest pain is often a sign of a heart attack, other symptoms, such as cold sweats, jaw pain, dizziness, vomiting, squeezing sensations, pain in the arms, others can be indicative of a heart attack.

Regardless of what is happening with your blood pressure, if you believe you are experiencing heart attack symptoms it is best to seek emergency assistance right away. It is better to be safe and rule out a heart attack than to ignore the symptoms in the midst of one.

And, it’s always a wise idea to get any and all cardiac problems evaluated and treated by an experienced physician, like those at Tri-City Cardiology who use state-of-the-art equipment and procedures to treat heart issues.