8 risk factors for high blood pressure. You’ve probably heard at some point in your life that you should monitor your blood pressure. Well, here’s a list of the top 8 risk factors for high blood pressure, so you can make sure you’re doing everything to avoid it.
It can be caused by eight risk factors that aggravate and strengthen the walls of the arteries, such as advancing age, pollution, diabetes, alcohol consumption, smoking and excessive fat consumption.
High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease. High blood pressure, in turn, can lead to kidney failure, stroke, and heart diseases. In fact, there are 8 factors that contribute to this risk like stress, alcohol abuse and high salt content food.
Have you been wondering what causes high blood pressure? Chances are good you associate it with stress, but that’s only part of the answer. It is important to know what causes high blood pressure so that you can stay on top of it.
8 risk factors for high blood pressure
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a condition in which the blood vessels are under too much pressure. Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of your arteries as your heart pumps and circulates blood throughout your body.
The first step to take is to eat a healthy diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables. Avoid saturated fats and trans fats they increase your risk of heart disease.
Limit alcohol consumption to no more than two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women. According to the American Heart Association, 8 risk factors for high blood pressure include:
Age: High blood pressure is more common in older adults.
Race/ethnicity: High blood pressure tends to develop earlier in life in blacks than whites; however, it continues to progress faster in blacks than whites after age 45.
Hispanics have the lowest prevalence of high blood pressure compared with other ethnic groups but have higher levels once diagnosed.
In contrast, Asian Americans have lower levels of high blood pressure than most other races/ethnicities but have higher levels once diagnosed.
Gender: Men are more likely than women to develop high blood pressure at an earlier age and experience greater increases with age than women do.
Family history. If someone in your family has had high blood pressure for many years, you may be more likely to develop it yourself even if you don’t have any other risk factors for high blood pressure.
8 risk factors to keep in mind
- Eating unhealthy foods
- Being overweight or obese
- Smoking cigarettes
- Drinking too much alcohol
- Family history of hypertension
- Stress and lack of sleep
- High salt intake
- Lack of exercise
1. Eating unhealthy foods
Eating unhealthy foods is a risk factor for high blood pressure. The American Heart Association recommends the following steps to reduce the risks of heart disease and stroke:
Exercise on most days of the week. Aim for 30 minutes or more, 5 times per week.
Eat a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat milk and milk products, fish, legumes (beans), lean meats and poultry. Limit saturated fat, trans fat and sodium.
Maintain a healthy weight as recommended by your doctor or health care provider. High blood pressure is a common medical condition that affects around one in three adults.
It causes the heart and blood vessels to work harder than they should, which can eventually lead to serious complications if left untreated.
High blood pressure is caused by narrowing of the arteries or an increase in resistance to blood flow. This leads to a rise in the blood pressure as the heart has to work harder to push the blood through.
These include processed meats, added sugars, sodium and saturated fats. The following sections look at the evidence for these foods and others on high blood pressure risk.
Eating unhealthy foods is a risk factors for high blood pressure, according to the American Heart Association, and it’s also linked to heart disease and stroke.
The association says that people who eat fast food at least once a week are more likely to have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease and an increased body mass index (BMI).
“Not all fats are bad; some fats like monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) actually lower your cholesterol levels,” said Dr. Joseph Vinson, a professor of chemistry at the University of Scranton who has published several studies on the health effects of trans fats in processed foods.
“But processed foods are loaded with saturated fat, which has been shown to raise LDL (bad) cholesterol levels.” Eating unhealthy foods is a risk factor for high blood pressure.
According to the American Heart Association, sodium intake should be less than 2,300 milligrams per day for most adults. The association recommends that people with high blood pressure limit their sodium intake to 1,500 milligrams per day.
There are many ways to reduce sodium intake. Sodium is present in most canned and processed foods, including:
Salt substitutes (potassium chloride). Avoid these products because they have the same effect on blood pressure as regular salt.
Potatoes (baked), white bread, grain cereals (dry). Limit consumption of these foods because they are high in sodium.
Pizza and pasta dishes made with cheese and tomato sauce. These dishes have an average of 500 milligrams of sodium per serving.
Canned soups, especially condensed varieties such as chicken noodle soup or vegetable beef. Homemade soups are usually lower in sodium content than canned varieties because you can control how much salt goes into them during preparation.
Salted snack foods such as potato chips and pretzels, which can contain up to 600 milligrams of sodium per serving or more depending on the brand.
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2. Being overweight or obese
Here are some tips to help you lose weight:
Eat a healthy diet — Choose foods that are low in saturated fat and sodium and rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
Control your salt intake — Cut back on salt by reducing the amount of salt you add to food at home, but also read labels when eating out or buying processed foods.
There are many risk factors for high blood pressure, including age, family history and being overweight or obese. If you’re overweight or obese, losing even small amounts of weight can help reduce your risk of developing high blood pressure.
Being overweight or obese increases your risk of developing high blood pressure because it puts extra stress on the heart, which makes it work harder to pump blood around the body.
Your risk of high blood pressure is higher if you’re also carrying excess weight around your waistline that’s because abdominal fat seems to have more negative effects on the body than fat stored around the hips and bottom.
When you’re overweight or obese, extra weight puts stress on your body and may cause damage to your arteries and organs. Extra weight also raises your blood pressure levels by increasing the force needed for your heart to pump blood through your body.
The more excess fat you have on your body, the greater the chance that you’ll develop high blood pressure.
The good news is that losing weight can lower your blood pressure, which can reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke. If you are overweight or obese, it’s important to lose weight.
The amount of weight you need to lose depends on how much extra weight you have. If you’re already taking blood pressure medicine, losing even a little bit of weight can help lower your blood pressure.
There are many things that can cause high blood pressure, including age, genetics and lifestyle factors like diet and exercise. But being overweight or obese is also a major risk factor for high blood pressure.
A study published in Nature Medicine found that elevated levels of fatty acids in the bloodstream can trigger inflammation and cause arteries to stiffen in people who are overweight or obese this phenomenon may play an important role in the development of hypertension.
3. Smoking cigarettes
Smoking cigarettes is a risk factors for high blood pressure (hypertension). Smoking has been found to increase the risk of developing high blood pressure by 30-40%. Smoking cigarettes is a risk factors for high blood pressure (hypertension).
Smoking has been found to increase the risk of developing high blood pressure by 30-40%. In addition, smoking can worsen your current condition and make it more difficult for you to control your blood pressure.
Most people who smoke cigarettes start before the age of 18 and continue to smoke for many years. In fact, about 90% of smokers begin smoking before age 18. Almost half (46%) start smoking by age 14.
The number of people who smoke has been declining for several decades, but tobacco use is still the leading cause of preventable illness and death in the US.
It’s responsible for more than 480,000 deaths annually one every six seconds and costs an estimated $193 billion each year in health care bills and lost productivity.
People who smoke have an increased risk of developing heart disease and stroke, which are major causes of premature death in this country.
All cigarette smokers increase their chances of getting cancer because tobacco smoke contains thousands of chemicals that cause cancer. Each time you light up a cigarette, you expose yourself to these harmful substances.
This means that people who smoke are more likely to develop high blood pressure than those who do not smoke. The higher the number of cigarettes smoked per day.
And the longer a person has been smoking, the greater the risk of developing high blood pressure. Smoking also increases your risk for heart disease, stroke and heart attack.
Smoking cigarettes can lead to heart attacks in people who already have heart disease. It can also cause peripheral vascular disease (PVD), which refers to any condition that affects the arteries outside of the heart and brain.
4. Drinking too much alcohol
Drinking too much alcohol is a risk factors for high blood pressure. The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) reports that alcohol can raise your blood pressure if you drink more than one drink per day.
In one study, researchers followed more than 13,000 men and women over the age of 30 who drank alcohol at least once a week.
Those who drank more than seven drinks per week had an increased risk of developing hypertension compared to those who drank less than one drink per week.
The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends no more than two drinks per day for men and no more than one drink per day for women.
Alcohol is a depressant that slows the central nervous system and causes an increase in the release of chemicals in the brain that can result in slurred speech, poor coordination and delayed reaction time.
The amount and type of alcohol consumed also affects the amount of impairment.
The U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends no more than 1 drink per day for women (5 oz wine, 12 oz beer) and 2 drinks per day for men (5 oz wine, 12 oz beer).
High blood pressure is a major cause of heart disease, stroke and kidney failure. Drinking too much alcohol can increase your risk of high blood pressure by damaging the arteries that supply blood to the heart and brain.
Alcohol and hypertension
Drinking too much alcohol raises your blood pressure by damaging the walls of your arteries. This can make them less flexible, so it’s harder for the heart to pump blood through them.
Drinking may also cause inflammation, which can make your arteries stiffer and narrower. The link between alcohol and high blood pressure isn’t clear-cut.
Some studies have found that moderate drinking one drink a day for women, two for men lowers blood pressure. But other research suggests that heavy drinkers are at higher risk of developing hypertension.
Alcohol affects the heart and blood vessels in several ways:
It can raise your blood pressure when you drink too much or too fast, or when you drink on an empty stomach especially if you are a man older than 40 or woman older than 50.
It can cause fluid retention (dehydration) which may increase blood volume and elevate your blood pressure. Alcohol can increase the amount of sodium in the body, which can lead to elevated blood pressure.
5. Family history of hypertension
Family history of hypertension is a risk factors for high blood pressure. This study was conducted in order to assess the association of family history with hypertension and its subtypes in a large representative sample of the Brazilian adult population.
Data were collected by means of a cross-sectional survey, using the National Health Survey (NHES), conducted by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE).
The sample was composed of 1,946 individuals aged 20 years or older from all five geographical regions of Brazil.
A structured questionnaire was administered by trained interviewers, which included questions about sociodemographic characteristics and health behaviors.
The diagnosis of hypertension was based on self-reported use of antihypertensive drugs and/or treatment in a healthcare facility during the previous 12 months.
The prevalence of hypertension was 11.2%. The crude prevalence rates according to sex were 8.5% among men (95%CI: 7.6-9.6) and 14.2% among women (95%CI: 13.1-15.4).
After adjusting for age, the prevalence rates among women remained significantly higher than those among men [relative risk ratio [RRR]:1.39; 95%CI: 1.26-1.52]. Family history of hypertension is a risk factors for high blood pressure.
A family history of high blood pressure increases the risk of developing the condition, new research has found.
The study, published in the journal Neurology, looked at over 800 siblings who were part of the Framingham Heart Study, which began in 1948. The participants were followed up for an average of 31 years to see if they developed high blood pressure.
The results showed that siblings who shared a parent with high blood pressure were 13% more likely to develop the condition themselves than those who did not share a parent with this condition.
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6. Stress and lack of sleep
So many people don’t know they have it until they have a heart attack or stroke. Stress and lack of sleep raise your blood pressure. Stress increases your heart rate and constricts your blood vessels, which raises your blood pressure.
If you’re chronically stressed, it can cause high blood pressure over time. Lack of sleep also has a similar effect on your body.
When you don’t get enough shut-eye, your body produces more adrenaline and cortisol hormones that increase your heart rate and make it harder for your kidneys to filter out excess fluid from the bloodstream.
This causes an increase in sodium levels in the body, which makes your blood vessels stiffer and increases blood pressure levels.
A new study has found that stress and lack of sleep are risk factors for high blood pressure. The research was conducted by a team of researchers at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF).
The study recruited 447 adults aged between 18 and 35 years from diverse ethnic backgrounds who had never had high blood pressure before. The participants were asked to report their sleeping patterns over the last two weeks.
They were also asked about stressful events in their lives in the past month and how they felt they responded to these events.
The researchers found that people who reported sleeping less than 5 hours per night were more likely to have an elevated blood pressure compared with those who slept 7 hours each night on average.
In addition, those who said they were stressed by their life events were also more likely to have higher blood pressure than those who did not report feeling stressed by their life events.
7. High salt intake
High blood pressure (HBP or hypertension) is a condition in which the blood pressure in the arteries is persistently elevated. High blood pressure typically does not cause any symptoms and has no detectable internal manifestation.
But it can lead to serious complications such as heart attack, stroke, heart failure and kidney failure. High Salt Intake Is A Risk Factors For High Blood Pressure:
High salt intake is a risk factors for high blood pressure. The high level of salt in your body can cause your kidneys to work harder and produce more urine than normal.
This increases the amount of fluid that you need to drink to avoid becoming dehydrated. Drinking more fluids also helps lower your blood pressure by diluting the excess sodium in your body and reducing its ability to increase blood volume.
High salt intake increases the amount of water that the body retains and raises blood pressure. Water retention can cause swelling in your fingers and ankles, making you appear puffy.
High salt intake may also contribute to difficulties in controlling high blood pressure by increasing fluid retention, which causes the body’s circulatory system to work harder to maintain proper blood circulation (cardiovascular function).
Salt is an essential nutrient, but it should not be confused with sodium chloride, which is the chemical compound that causes water retention and raises blood pressure by increasing fluid volume in the body.
High salt intake has long been linked to increased blood pressure levels. This association has been found in many studies, including meta-analyses (statistical analyses of previous research) and prospective studies (which follow participants over time).
8. Lack of exercise
Exercise is beneficial in preventing and treating many diseases. Among them, high blood pressure (hypertension) is one of the most common conditions. There are several studies that show the association between lack of exercise and hypertension.
Lack of exercise can lead to obesity, which is a risk factor for high blood pressure. Exercise increases the body’s sensitivity to insulin, which helps lower blood sugar levels in people with diabetes mellitus.
High blood pressure (hypertension) is the condition in which the blood flows through the blood vessels with great force. The blood pressure is determined by the amount of blood pumped by the heart and how much resistance there is to that pumping.
Blood pressure is measured as two numbers: systolic (the top number) over diastolic (the bottom number). For example, 120/80 mm Hg means that when your heart beats.
It pumps 120 milliliters (ml) of blood with each beat and that this causes 80 mm of mercury to be pushed back into the upper chambers of your heart within one minute after each beat.
High blood pressure usually has no symptoms until it damages an organ such as your kidney or brain.
The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute recommends that if your systolic reading is 140 or higher or your diastolic reading is 90 or higher, you should be tested for high blood pressure.
The study, which analyzed data from more than 2,000 participants in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), found that those who exercised less than once a month had higher blood pressure than those who exercised more frequently.
“Our findings suggest that physical activity may be beneficial for preventing high blood pressure,” said lead author Yang Hu, MD, PhD, assistant professor of epidemiology at Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in New Orleans. “Further research is needed to understand the mechanisms behind these associations.”
If you’re worried about your risk factors for high blood pressure, there’s never been a better time to improve your lifestyle. Start by eating less salt, exercising more, and getting plenty of sleep every night.
If your risk factors for high blood pressure persist or worsen over time, make an appointment with your doctor to get it checked out. If high blood pressure runs in your family, you may have an increased risk of developing the condition.
Other factors that raise your blood pressure include your age, weight, exercise habits, alcohol consumption and stress levels. Managing these with diet and exercise can reduce your chances of getting high blood pressure.
The good news is high blood pressure can be managed; it just may require some lifestyle adjustments, but you can do it. Don’t think of your body as a machine that only needs to be maintained periodically;
think of it as an ecosystem that requires care on an ongoing basis. For example, if you have hypertension and you stop taking your medicine for a few days, you should get care for that immediately.
If you perform the things listed here, you may find that your blood pressure levels come down over time. High blood pressure is a dangerous condition, but it’s not one that you need to just live with.
By making small changes in your life, like getting into regular exercise, lowering your salt intake, or losing excess weight, you can improve your blood pressure and ensure that you’re around to see many more birthdays.
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