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Causes of High Blood Pressure – Risk Factors

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High blood pressure(HBP) is one of the hidden diseases that many of us do not even realize. Having information about this disease is very important and can help prevent irreparable damage to yourself and others. Hypertension is a common problem for most older people.

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What is blood pressure?

The amount of force that enters the walls of blood vessels from the blood is called blood pressure. When this pressure is too high, the activity of the heart becomes very high and causes serious damage to the arteries. If you don’t care about this disease, it will lead to heart problems, brain stroke, and kidney problems.


Blood Pressure Stages
Blood Pressure Category Systolic mm Hg (upper #)   Diastolic mm Hg (lower #)
Normal less than 120 And less than 180
Elevated 120-129 And less than 180
High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) Stage 1 130-139 OR 80-89
High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) Stage 2 140 or higher OR 90 or higher
Hypertensive Crisis (Seek Emergency Care) Higher than 180 And/ OR higher than 120
Source: American Heart Association


Diastolic pressure: Diastolic pressure is the pressure in the arteries when the heart is resting between two beats. In this time, the heart fills with blood and oxygen. Normal diastolic blood pressure is lower than 80 mm Hg and 90 or higher show high blood pressure.

Systolic pressure: When your heart beats, it carries blood through the arteries to the rest of the body. This force puts pressure on those blood vessels, which is systolic pressure.

Types of high blood pressure 

  • essential, or primary hypertension
  • secondary hypertension

Primary hypertension: This type of hypertension is very common among people, and almost 90% of patients have this type. Affected people are usually older than 65. The cause of primary or essential hypertension is unknown, and there’s no identifiable cause.

Secondary hypertension: This type occurs suddenly and is more severe than the Primary type. Different conditions and the use of different drugs can lead to this problem, which includes:

  • Kidney problems
  • Adrenal gland tumor
  • Congenital heart defect
  • Thyroid problems
  • Certain medications, such as birth control pills, over-the-counter pain relievers
  • Illegal drugs such as cocaine and amphetamines

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Unfortunately, in most cases, high blood pressure does not have any warning signs or specific symptoms.  In such cases, the only way to diagnose high blood pressure is to measure it.

Some people with high blood pressure sometimes experience headaches in the early morning, which gradually subside during the day. In general, the list below is some of the symptoms of high blood pressure, some of which directly and some indirectly indicate high blood pressure.

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • nosebleeds
  • Fatigue
  • Vomiting
  • nausea
  • Chest pain
  • Breathlessness
  • heart palpitations

Risk factors


Age affects many general activities of the body. In the case of high blood pressure, whatever you get older, the more likely developing high blood pressure increase. You should know that high blood pressure can occur at any age, but most of the time, middle-aged people get the disease.


In general, high blood pressure is higher in men than in women. However, after the age of 60, both sexes are equally susceptible to the disease.

Family history and genetics

The role of genetics in this disease is very high. People who one of their family members have (especially a parent) high blood pressure are more likely to get the disease or to get it in the future.


Obesity plays a significant role in causing high blood pressure, so the more overweight, the higher the blood pressure. In all ages, body weight determines blood pressure levels. High blood pressure in obese people is up to threefold higher than in normal-weight people because you need more blood to deliver oxygen and nutrients to your body tissues. The heart has to increase blood volume that causes pressure on the walls of arteries.

High blood pressure in obese people has various causes. There is some of them:

  • Increase heart function to supply blood to all organs
  • Insulin resistance
  • High levels of leptin in obese people
  • Consuming more salt
  • High blood sugar
  • Consumption of high-calorie foods
  • Sleep disorders

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Lifestyle habits

  • Smoking
  • overweight or obese
  • Too much salt
  • Alcohol and Caffeine
  • Stress
  • Disease: diabetes, metabolic syndrome, chronic kidney disease
  • Unhealthy foods
  • lack of exercise
  • Not getting enough good-quality sleep
  • Pregnancy

Pregnancy hypertension

Some pregnant women have hypertension problems which usually occur in the second half of pregnancy. It can be dangerous for both mother and baby during pregnancy.

In this case, high blood pressure restricts blood flow and oxygen to the baby. This can lead to slow growth, low birth weight, or premature birth.

 Also read: Eating Pistachios During Pregnancy

Lifestyle Should change

People who have high blood pressure need to change their lifestyles besides taking medication. It means, if they are overweight, try to lose weight, eat less salt, and change your diet, use fresh vegetables and fruits instead of fast food or unhealthy food. Make time for exercise at least 30 minutes a day. Limit smoking and alcohol consumption. Having neurological disorders, stress, and long-term worries, can hurt the health of the body’s circulatory systemو as well as blood pressure.

 Also read: Can You Eat Fruit If You Have Diabetes?




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