October 29, 2022

Factors That Increase High Blood Pressure Risk


High blood pressure affects one in every three Americans, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), making it one of the most common health afflictions in the country.

For reference, a blood pressure reading of 120/80 or lower is considered normal. A mark of 130/80 is considered stage 1 high blood pressure, and stage 2 is 140/90 or higher.

Genetics do play a part in hypertension for some, but behaviors that we can control also play a big factor.

CHC would like to bring all of these factors to your attention.

  1. Family History

The CDC believes genetic factors do play a role when it comes to passing down traits that produce high blood pressure and related conditions like heart disease. However, people with a family history of high blood pressure may also share certain unhealthy lifestyle choices.

  1. Age

Your blood pressure rises as you age, which naturally will increase the risk.

  1. Race/Ethnicity

Black people tend to develop high blood pressure more frequently (and earlier in life) than any other ethnic group, including white, Hispanic, and Asian people.

  1. Unhealthy Diet

Obesity is listed as a risk factor for high blood pressure, but that’s usually a result of two things. The first is an unhealthy diet. A diet high in sodium and low in potassium is a recipe for high blood pressure. You can find potassium in bananas, potatoes, beans, and yogurt. If you’re looking to cut back on sodium, start with eating less processed and restaurant foods.

  1. Lack of Exercise

Physical inactivity is another factor that results in obesity. The excess weight forces your body to work harder to pump blood from the heart, which increases blood pressure.

  1. Alcohol and Tobacco Use

Regularly consuming too much alcohol can result in high blood pressure. That’s recommended as one drink a day for women and two for men. Tobacco use can damage the heart and blood vessels, along with reducing the amount of oxygen that your blood can carry.

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