Hypertension Risk Factors

Risk Factors For Abnormal Blood Pressure


High blood pressure or hypertension is one condition that can affect one and all. However, there are some individuals who are at a greater risk of developing the same problem. Here is a look at some risk factors that can increase your chances of developing the problem.

Age and gender
One of the most important risk factors associated with high blood pressure is age. As you age, the risk of developing high blood pressure increases. A recent study revealed that two third of Americans above 60 years of age are victims of hypertension. Though the risk of high BP increases with age, in both the genders, it is older women who are at a higher risk.

Ethnicity
Amidst various other racial groups, it is African Americans who are the highest risk of developing the problem. Almost 34 % of African Americans are known to suffer from hypertension. 40 % of the deaths in this group are caused as a result of high blood pressure. Other racial groups that run a risk of hypertension include Native Americans, Caucasians and Hispanic Americans. In comparison, Asians and Pacific Islanders run a much lower risk of the problem.

Weight
Obesity is yet another important risk factor associated with high blood pressure. As a matter of fact, experts attribute the problem of hypertension to obesity. Almost one third of hypertension patients are overweight. Even if you are moderately obese, the risk of hypertension is doubled. Children and teens who are obese are also more likely to develop the problem during adulthood. However, this does not mean that thin people are not susceptible to develop hypertension. Rather, thinner people suffering from hypertension are at a greater risk of developing stroke.

While high weight is an important factor that contributes to high BP levels, low birth weight also increases the risk. People with a low birth weight have a greater likelihood of developing the problem. This is more so in the case of girls.

Diabetes
There is a strong relationship between insulin resistance and hypertension. However, it is unknown that which of these two is responsible for the development of the other. Angiotensin is believed to be the common link between these two health problems. This chemical not just influences blood pressure levels but also affects the insulin's metabolic signaling. People who deal with diabetes and high blood pressure are more prone to cardiovascular diseases and strokes.

Family
If your spouse is suffering from high blood pressure, chances are that you run a higher risk of developing the problem.

In case you are dealing with any of the above mentioned risk factors, make sure that you exercise increased caution to keep your BP levels in check.