Risk Factors for Hypertension


About risk factors: Risk factors for Hypertension are factors that do not seem to be a direct cause of the disease, but seem to be associated in some way. Having a risk factor for Hypertension makes the chances of getting a condition higher but does not always lead to Hypertension. Also, the absence of any risk factors or having a protective factor does not necessarily guard you against getting Hypertension. For general information and a list of risk factors, see the risk center.

Risk factor list: The list of risk factors mentioned for Hypertension in various sources includes:

Risk factor statistics for Hypertension: The following are statistics from various sources about the risk factors for Hypertension:

  • Physical inactivity increases the risk of hypertension by 30% (World Heart Federation Fact-Sheet, 2002)

Risk factors discussion: An estimated 60 to 65 percent of people with diabetes have high blood pressure.1

Others who are at a high risk of developing it are African Americans, the overweight, those with a family history of high blood pressure, and those with a high-normal blood pressure.2

It is also important to know that if you take birth control pills, your blood pressure is apt to increase slightly. The risk appears to increase with age and with length of use. If you are taking oral contraceptives, you should get your blood pressure checked regularly. If hypertension develops, you should stop using the pill.3

Older women have a higher risk of high blood pressure, with more than half of all women over age 55 suffering from this condition. High blood pressure is more common and more severe in African-American women than it is in white women. Using birth control pills can contribute to high blood pressure in some women. 4

Blood pressure tends to get higher as you age. So, even if your blood pressure is normal now, it makes sense to take steps to prevent high blood pressure in the years to come. You will be less likely to develop high blood pressure if you are physically active, maintain a healthy weight, limit your alcohol intake, and cut down on salt and sodium. 4

Moderate drinking can have beneficial effects on the heart, especially among those at greatest risk for heart attacks, such as men over the age of 45 and women after menopause. But long-term heavy drinking increases the risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, and some kinds of stroke. 5

Risks factors for Hypertension: medical news summaries: The following medical news items are relevant to risk factors for Hypertension:

1. excerpt from Diabetes Statistics in the United States: NIDDK
2. excerpt from Heart Disease & Women Controlling High Blood Pressure A Woman's Guide: NHLBI
3. excerpt from Heart Disease & Women Preventing & Controlling High Blood Pressure: NHLBI
4. excerpt from NHLBI Heart Disease & Women Are You At Risk: NHLBI
5. excerpt from Alcohol What You Don't Know Can Harm You: NIAAA

Last revision: Nov 13, 2003

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