6 Factors That Can Raise Your Hypertension Risk - Tamang Alaga
Learn more about the potential causes of hypertension or high blood pressure levels.
Learn more about the potential causes of hypertension or high blood pressure levels.

6 Factors That Can Raise Your Hypertension Risk

For a lot of people, measuring blood pressure levels is a priority during medical check-ups or doctor’s appointments. After all, this can be an indicator of your current health status.

As its name implies, blood pressure refers to the amount of “force” that the blood places on the walls of your arteries. The arteries are responsible for transporting blood from the heart to other parts of the body. It pays to be one step ahead against hypertension. Discover what can cause this in the first place and some of the ways you can address it.

Hypertension at a Glance

Hypertension can be classified into two categories:

  • Primary: This can also be called idiopathic or essential hypertension. It is not directly caused by a particular health issue and can gradually develop through the years.
  • Secondary: When blood pressure levels increase due to another medical condition, this means that you have secondary hypertension. People diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea, kidney- or thyroid-related health problems, adrenal gland tumors, or congenital defects in blood vessels are prone to this.

There are many known causes and factors that can lead to hypertension, such as:

  • Age: Older people are more prone to hypertension since blood vessels become less elastic as they age and maycontribute to increased blood pressure.
  • Family history and genetics: There are certain genes that may influence one’s risk for hypertension. This could be a factor why hypertension can run in families.
  • Being overweight or obese: Your body needs more blood to provide oxygen and nutrients to your tissues when you tend to be on the heavier side. Your body responds by creating more blood that can raise pressure on your arteries’ walls.
  • Sedentary lifestyle: If you do not exercise regularly, there is a higher chance that you will be overweight. This prompts the heart to create more blood that will pass through the arteries and raise blood pressure. Moreover, higher heart rates (known commonly as your pulse) are also common in sedentary people. This means that your heart needs to exert more effort when it contracts, increasing pressure it applies on the arteries’ walls.
  • Smoking: Temporary blood pressure increases can occur when you smoke. However, long-term cigarette use may damage the lining in your arteries, resulting in narrowed passageways and increased heart disease risk. 
  • High-sodium (salt) and/or low-potassium diets: If you consume too much salt, this can cause water retention, increased flow of blood vessels, and possibly, hypertension. On the flipside, not eating enough potassium-rich food can lead to sodium build-up in your blood. Potassium plays a major role in balancing the sodium in your cells.

Address Possible Hypertension Right Away

Ensure that blood pressure levels are at a normal level of 120/80 mmHg. Blood pressure readings are composed of two values, namely systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure. The former signifies the pressure in your arteries during a heartbeat, while the latter refers to the amount of pressure in your arteries during a rest period. 

Some tried-and-tested strategies to help reduce your hypertension risk include:

  • Eat a balanced diet consisting of nutrient-rich food such as fruits and vegetables.
  • Get as much exercise as you can. If you have existing health problems though, seek the guidance from a doctor to determine the ideal workouts for your current health status.
  • Get high-quality sleep.
  • Avoid smoking and consuming too much alcohol.

You can also talk to a doctor or a cardiologist if you have any concerns about your high blood pressure. Should there be concerns about your health, medicines like Atenalol, Bisoprolol, or Clonidine can be prescribed. Any of these medicines, which must all be taken under the supervision of a health professional, may help address high blood pressure and improve your condition.