People often search to find out the causes of hypertension but they actually should be looking for risk factors. Unfortunately, science has not been able to show specific identifiable causes of high blood pressure. They have identified several risk factors that make it more likely for a person to develop blood pressure problems. Some of these are beyond your control but most risk factors can be reduced once you know what they are.
Age is one risk factor that you obviously cannot control. The older you are, the greater the chance that you will develop blood pressure problems. According to the American Heart Association, the most likely age for men to have problems is between 35 and 55 while a woman’s risk is greater after menopause.
Race is a factor, although it is unclear why. Studies have shown that African Americans become hypertensive more often than Caucasians and that it is usually at a younger age.
Heredity is one of the biggest risk factors. If your parents or other close relatives have the condition, you are far more likely to develop it, as well.
Being overweight increases your chances of developing the illness, particularly those with a body mass index of 30.0 or greater.
Living a sedentary lifestyle also increases your risks. Generally those who are not active will weigh more than those who exercise regularly, for one thing, but even if you are not overweight, your risks are still higher by being inactive.
Clearly those first three factors – age, race and heredity – are uncontrollable but you can control your weight and increase your activity level. There are other risk factors, as well, that are within your control but those two are the most dangerous ones.
If you have any of these five risk factors that can be causes of hypertension, you need to learn more and take steps to prevent a heart attack or stroke from high blood pressure.