I have obesity, hypertension, and heaviness in my chest. Can it be due to left atrium enlargement?

Q. Can hypertension, obesity, and heaviness in the chest be associated with left atrium enlargement?

Answered by
Dr. Sagar Ramesh Makode
and medically reviewed by Dr. K Shobana
This is a premium question & answer published on Jan 19, 2023 and last reviewed on: Sep 16, 2023

Hello doctor,

Last night I went to the emergency room because of ongoing chest pressure. The doctor said my ECG was perfect, my chest X-rays were clear, and all my blood work was fine. However, on reviewing when I got home, I saw probable left atrium enlargement. I have severe health anxiety, and my blood pressure was 165/110 mmHg and pulse 120 bpm when this test was done. I am overweight, and I weigh 210 lbs. I am attaching my reports for your reference. Kindly suggest.



Welcome back to icliniq.com.

I have seen the attached (attachment removed to protect the patient's identity) reports. In my opinion, too, your ECG (electrocardiogram) is fine. Machine-generated reports are frequently inaccurate. With age and being overweight, some amount of left atrial enlargement might be there on echo, and it will be acceptable if it is there. However, there is no clear or definitive suggestion of left atrial enlargement on ECG. Besides, the accuracy of such findings on ECG is unreliable; an echocardiogram is a critical investigation. Upper chest heaviness persisting for a few days may be related to musculoskeletal causes. However, you can request further evaluation like an echo and stress test, and get prescription refill online, especially if there are additional risk factors like family history, etc., besides hypertension. You should focus on hypertension control, weight loss, and stabilization of the mind with the help of yoga, meditation, staying busy, reading books, etc. I hope this helps you. Thank you.

Hello doctor,

Thank you very much. I have a follow-up tomorrow with my family doctor to review my blood pressure medication dose, and I will request a stress test. I appreciate the reassurance. The attending doctor said the ECG looked great, and I only noticed the warnings above after I left the hospital, which of course, had me anxious again with no way of following up.



Welcome back to icliniq.com.

It is alright. Besides medicines, focus on lifestyle and take efforts to keep your mind healthy using various methods, which can be very rewarding. Thank you.

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