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Ironically while we know that hypertension can kill, we don’t know why it happens. In 95 percent of cases, there is no underlying cause – the reason why it’s called primary or essential hypertension. In the remaining 5 percent of cases, the problem can be traced to kidney or heart disease and is known as secondary hypertension.

Who are most likely to develop hypertension? People often believe that nigh blood pressure is caused by extreme tension or nervousness. In truth, there is no hypertensive personality. Stress can make your blood pressure rise but this will return to normal once your problem is over. Those with hypertension always have high readings even if they’re not doing anything. normalife

Blood pressure tends to rise as a person gets older but aging is not a primary factor. The more common risk factors for hypertension are the following:

Race
Blacks are more likely to develop high blood pressure than whites.

Heredity
If your parents are hypertensive, chances are you. “There is a genetic background,” according to Dr. Gianfranco Parati, a member of the executive board of the Journal of Hypertension, the official publication of the International Society of Hypertension and the European Society of Hypertension. “If people in your family have hypertension, that puts you at high risk and you have to be properly evaluated.”

Weight
Obesity increases your risk of high blood pressure. If you’re 30 percent or more above the ideal body weight for your height, age and sex, you’re in trouble.

Excessive salt intake
Too much salt in your diet can make your blood pressure soar, especially if you’re salt sensitive
which is true in 5 to 10 percent of hypertensives.

Heavy smoking and drinking
These bad habits can wreak havoc on your blood pressure. Nicotine raises blood pressure and increases your risk of having a stroke or heart attack. The same is true with alcohol which is responsible for 5 percent of all cases of hypertension.

 

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