What Are Risk Factors For High Blood Pressure
Through early middle age, high blood pressure is more common in men. Women are more likely to
develop high blood pressure after menopause. This is due to range of things that change as we age.
One of the most important is that our arteries become less flexible with age. This means that they
cannot expand so easily, so it is like forcing the same volume of fluid through a narrower pipe.
This results in an increase in pressure.
Having more than two or three drinks in a sitting can also temporarily raise your blood pressure,
as it may cause your body to release hormones that increase your blood flow and heart rate.
Regular, sustained consumption of more than moderate amounts of alcohol raises blood pressure.
Having diabetes increases your risk of getting high blood pressure.
If you have high cholesterol you are more likely to get blockage of arteries. The development of
plaque in your arteries can make the arteries narrower and less elastic. In addition to potentially
giving you a heart attack.
High blood pressure tends to run in families. If your parents and other close relatives have/had
high blood pressure you have an increased likelihood of developing high blood pressure.
High salt diet
Many people (but not all) have salt-sensitive high blood pressure. Too much sodium in your diet can
cause your body to retain fluid, which increases blood pressure. The DASH diet (Dietary Approaches
to Stop Hypertension) is a diet developed at National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (National
Institutes of Health) that is low in sodium and high in heart healthy foods.
Lack of exercise
Those, who do very little or no exercise, are at a higher risk of getting high blood pressure.
Interestingly for most people with normal or slightly elevated blood pressure, frequent moderate
intensity exercise will after a period of time lower blood pressure. Lack of physical activity also
increases the risk of being overweight.
People who have body mass index (BMI) of 30 or greater are more likely to develop high blood
pressure. The more you weigh, the more blood you need to supply oxygen and nutrients to your
tissues. As the volume of blood circulated through your blood vessels increases, so does the
pressure on your artery walls.
Low Potassium, Low Calcium, Low Vitamin D Diet
In addition to a high salt diet increasing your risk of high blood pressure, a diet that is low in
calcium, potassium and magnesium, and vitamin D can increase blood pressure. Diets high in “bad”
fat have not been shown to directly affect blood pressure but do have negative effects on the heart
and arteries, which, as stated above, can affect blood pressure indirectly.
African Americans are more likely to develop high blood pressure than other ethnic groups, and are
more likely to do so at an earlier age. Serious complications, such as stroke and heart attack,
also are more common in blacks.
Blood pressure goes up significantly every time you smoke. Not only does smoking tobacco
immediately raise your blood pressure temporarily, but the chemicals in tobacco can damage the
lining of your artery walls.
Those under a lot of stress will increase their blood pressure. If you try to relax by eating more,
using tobacco or drinking alcohol, you may only increase problems with high blood pressure.
The kidney play a major role in regulation of fluid levels in the body and constriction of blood
vessels. Therefore, some kidney diseases can increase blood pressure. Generally this can occur by
an increase of amount of fluid in the body causing an increase in blood volume and hence increasing
Although high blood pressure is most common in adults, children may be at risk,
too. For some children, hypertension is caused by problems with the kidneys or heart. But for a
growing number of kids, poor lifestyle habits — such as an unhealthy diet and lack of exercise —
contribute to hypertension.