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Blood Pressure Causes And Risk Factors

Blood Pressure Causes And Risk Factors

The causes of high blood pressure vary. Causes may include narrowing of the arteries, a greater than normal volume of blood, or the heart beating faster or more forcefully than it should. Any of these conditions will cause increased pressure against the artery walls. High blood pressure might also be caused by another medical problem. Most of the time, the cause is not known. Although high blood pressure usually cannot be cured, in most cases it can be prevented and controlled.

Risk factors are behaviors or conditions that can increase your chances of developing a disease. For instance, high blood pressure is a risk factor for heart disease and stroke.

There are other risk factors for heart disease and stroke. Most can be modified, though some cannot. The more risk factors you have, the greater your chances of developing disease. So it is important to take steps to prevent or control these risk factors.

Heart disease and stroke risk factors that can be controlled are:
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Abnormal cholesterol
  • Tobacco use
  • Diabetes
  • Overweight
  • Physical inactivity
Risk factors beyond your control are:
  • Age (55 years and older for men and 65 years or older for women)
  • Family history of early heart disease (having a mother or sister who has been diagnosed with heart disease before age 65, or a father or brother diagnosed before age 55)
  • Family history of stroke
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