High Blood Pressure: Causes and Risk Factors

It is not always possible to determine why blood pressure reaches higher levels in some people. Causes may include narrowing of the arteries or due to the heart beating faster or more forcefully than it should.
High blood pressure might also be caused by other factors such as:

  • Tablets, which include birth control pills, cold remedies, decongestants, pain relievers.
  • Kidney diseases.
  • Adrenal diseases.
  • Thyroid diseases.
  • Abnormal blood vessels.
  • Pre-eclampsia, a significant increase in blood pressure during the last 3 months of pregnancy.
  • Use of illegal drugs such as cocaine and amphetamines.

The major risk factors are:

  • Age-Blood pressure increases as age increases.
  • In young adulthood and early middle age, men have high blood pressure more often than women.
  • Genetically or family history of high blood pressure.
  • Obesity
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Smoking
  • Maintaining proper levels of minerals (sodium,potassium) and vitamins like vitamin D .
  • Vitamin D may affect an enzyme produced by your kidneys that affects your blood pressure.

The excessive blood pressure on the artery walls due to high blood pressure damages the blood vessels.
This uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to:

  • Heart attack or stroke
  • Aneurysm
  • Heart failure
  • Narrowing of the blood vessels in the kidney thereby leads to renal failure
  • Thickened ,narrowed blood vessels in the eyes
  • Decreases the memory and thinking ability.

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