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Risk factors of high blood pressure

Karen Miller | 12/9/2015, 4:18 p.m.
A risk factor increases the risk of a particular disease or condition. Having a particular risk factor, however, does not ...

A risk factor is a characteristic that increases the likelihood of developing a particular disease. It is not a guarantee, however, that the condition will develop. High blood pressure has several risk factors, many of which can be controlled or modified.

Risk factors that cannot be controlled

  • Age – the incidence increases with age
  • Race – more common among blacks
  • Family history – tends to run in families

Risk factors that can be modified

  • Overweight and obesity
  • Physical inactivity
  • Smoking and second-hand smoke
  • Stress – can cause temporary increases in blood pressure
  • Diet, which can include:
  • Too much salt
  • Too little potassium
  • Excessive alcohol use

Calculate your risk of a heart attack: https://www.heart.org/gglRisk/main_en_US.html

Test your HBP IQ: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HighBloodPressure/AboutHighBloodPressure/Test-Your-Blood-Pressure-IQ_UCM_303313_Article.jsp#.Vl3bvE1dF9A