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Risk Factors for Developing High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is a very dangerous condition to have, as it can increase the risk of developing heart disease, or having a stroke or heart attack. It was determined that there are several risk factors that can increase one's chances of getting high blood pressure, or hypertension as it is also called. Here are the main risk factors:

  • Family history. High blood pressure often runs in the families and gets passed down from one generation to the next. It is a hereditary disease. So, if your parents or close relatives suffer from hypertension, there is a good chance that you will too.

  • Age. It is a well-known fact that the risk of having hypertension significantly increases with age. This is due to the fact that the blood vessels lose some of their flexibility, and that increases pressure throughout the system. Men are likely to develop high blood pressure in their mid-forties, and women - in their mid-sixties.

  • Race. It was determined that African American adults have a bigger chance of developing HBP than Caucasians or Hispanic Americans.

  • Gender. Men have a much higher chance of having high blood pressure in their mid-forties than do women of the same age. Women, however, are more at risk for developing hypertension in their mid-sixties, than are men.

  • Extra weight. The more the person weighs the more blood the body needs to transfer oxygen and nutrients. The more the volume of blood that's circulating in the vessels, the higher the blood pressure becomes.

  • Physical inactivity. Physical inactivity increases the heart rate, which puts stress on the heart and puts more stress on the arteries. Little physical activity can also lead to obesity, which is another risk factor for hypertension.

  • A poor diet. A diet that is unbalanced and lacks healthy nutrients can cause high blood pressure. For example, too little of Vitamin D may cause hypertension. This is because this vitamin affects the kidney's enzyme production, which has an effect on blood pressure.

  • Too much alcohol. Drinking a lot of alcohol regularly can significantly damage the heart and increase the risk of developing hypertension. Too much alcohol means more than 2 drinks a day for men, and more than 1 drink a day for women.

  • Stress. An increased level of stress causes the blood pressure to rise. This elevation may be temporary if the stress is rare, or constant if the individual is constantly under stress.

By knowing these risk factors, it is possible to take the necessary steps and make the necessary lifestyle changes to lower the blood pressure and decrease the risk of a heart attack or stroke.

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