Did you know that about 70 million Americans have high blood pressure?

Generally speaking, blood pressure is the force at which blood pushes against the walls of the arteries as your heart pumps blood.  High blood pressure, also known as HBP or hypertension, is a common disease in which blood flows through arteries (blood vessels) at above normal pressures.

In today’s blog, we’re going to cover the basics of high blood pressure that includes the risk factors, the types and causes of this disease.

Given that one in every three American adults suffers from high blood pressure, it’s important to know the fundamental information that’s linked to this condition.

Risk factors of high blood pressure

High blood pressure is likely to affect those who:

  • Are over the age of 55
  • Are overweight
  • Are not physically active
  • Do not eat enough foods with potassium and vitamin D
  • Drink alcohol and smoke
  • Eat foods that are high in sodium
  • Have a family history of diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure

Additionally, there are cases where pregnancy can contribute to high blood pressure as well.

Types and causes of high blood pressure

In most cases, there’s no identifiable cause of this condition.  There are two common types of high blood pressure which include primary and secondary high blood pressure.

Primary High Blood Pressure

This is the most common type of high blood pressure and this form tends to develop as a person ages.

Secondary High Blood Pressure

This form of high blood pressure is usually a result of another medical condition or from the use of certain medications. This type of high blood pressure will likely resolve after the cause of the condition is treated.

Here are a few examples of the conditions or medications that can lead to secondary hypertension:

  • Adrenal gland tumors
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Certain medications such as birth control pills, cold medicine, decongestants, and some prescription drugs
  • Issues with the blood vessels that you’re born with (congenital)
  • Kidney problems
  • Sleep apnea
  • Thyroid problems

If you think you have high blood pressure or would like to learn more about this condition, schedule an appointment with your primary care physician today.

Check back in the coming weeks when we discuss the viable treatment options for high blood pressure.

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