What Is Diastolic Dysfunction?
Every time a healthy heart pumps oxygen-rich blood from the lungs into the rest of the body, it goes through two phases — a contracting or pumping phase (called systolic function) and a relaxing phase (called diastolic function).
When the muscles of the heart become stiff, they can't relax properly, creating a condition known as diastolic dysfunction. This inflexibility prevents the heart's ventricles from filling completely, causing blood to back up in the organs.
Diastolic dysfunction is a significant cause of pulmonary hypertension (increased blood pressure in the lung).
Diastolic dysfunction causes
Aging is the most common cause of this stiffening of the heart. In fact, it's estimated that more than 50% of adults of over the age of 70 have diastolic dysfunction.
Other causes include:
- High blood pressure
- Uncontrolled diabetes
- Kidney dysfunction and
- Some cancers and genetic disorders, in rare cases