What Causes High Blood Pressure?

Although no one knows for sure what causes high blood pressure, some groups of the population are more likely to get high blood pressure than others.

For some of the factors you can’t do much about belonging to a risk group other than making sure you have your blood pressure checked regularly but there are also some areas you can control. The factors affecting blood pressure are

Race

Black-Africans, African-Caribbean people living in Europe and African-Americans have a higher risk of getting high blood pressure than other races.

Age

Our blood pressure rises as we get older.

Sex

Women are at greater risk than men if they take the oral contraceptive pill or HRT and the risks of high blood pressure rise in pregnancy.

Family History

You may inherit a tendency to get high blood pressure from either or both of your parents. If one of your parents has high blood pressure your risk doubles.

Obesity

The more overweight you are the harder your heart has to work to pump blood around your body.

Diet

Lots of research is still going on in this area but diets which are high in saturated fat and salt and low in calcium, magnesium and phosphorus have been linked to blood pressure problems.

Stress

If your blood pressure tends to become very high in stressful situations, you are more likely to develop problems with high blood pressure.

Smoking

Smoking causes narrowing of the arteries and blood pressure has to rise to ensure a steady flow of blood around the body.

Medical Conditions

Some illnesses lead to high blood pressure including a number of kidney conditions and some hormonal disorders

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