Causes and Symptoms
What causes high blood pressure?
For 85% to 95% of people with high blood pressure, the cause of their high blood
pressure is not known. Called primary hypertension, this condition probably results
from a variety of causes.1
High Blood Pressure Risk factors
Age and Sex. The risk of developing high blood pressure increases
as you age. Most cases of high blood pressure are diagnosed in men, until the age
of 45. From age 45 to 54, men and women are equally at risk for high blood pressure.
After the age of 54, women are actually more likely to have high blood pressure
Family History. People with relatives who have high blood pressure
are more likely to develop high blood pressure.2
Ethnicity. People of African American and Native American ethnicity
have very high rates of high blood pressure, and the situation appears to be a growing
problem. Compared with Caucasians, African Americans develop hypertension earlier
in life, and their average blood pressures are much higher.2 Hispanics
have a higher ratio of diabetes and obesity compared with Caucasians, and have additional
risk factors for developing hypertension.
Diet. People who regularly eat foods that are high in salt are
more susceptible to high blood pressure.2
Obesity. People who are overweight are at risk for many illnesses,
including high blood pressure.2
Stress. Studies have shown that people with heightened anxiety,
intense anger, and suppressed expression of anger were more at risk of developing
high blood pressure.2,3
People with high blood pressure usually experience no symptoms unless their blood
pressure is extremely high, or if they have had high blood pressure for a long time.
In these cases, damage may occur in major organs, such as the heart, brain, and
kidneys, as well as in the small blood vessels in the eyes.4
It’s important to remember that if left untreated, high blood pressure may lead
to serious complications.4
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