The Risk Factors for High Blood Pressure
Researchers have made tremendous efforts to understand the cause of high blood pressure and which populations are at risk of developing the disease.
They know that numerous unalterable factors affect blood pressure (age, sex, ethnic background, and family history) and, to some extent, how these factors contribute to high blood pressure. But they still don’t know which of these
factors is the most important. I discuss risk factors in detail in Chapter 3.
Certain changeable factors (such as diet, exercise routine, and stress) can also place you at risk of developing high blood pressure.
Ask yourself the following questions:
Am I less active than I could be in my day-to-day routine?
Do I have a stressful lifestyle?
Am I overweight?
Do I smoke?
Drink? Do I eat many salty foods?
If you answer “Yes” to any one of these questions, then you’re at risk of developing high blood pressure. The more questions that you answer in the affirmative, the greater your odds are for developing high blood pressure. But if
you decrease the stress in your life and keep a rein on these changeable factors, you can decrease the possibility of developing high blood pressure.
Research indicates that high blood pressure arises in two stages:
A primary cause such as the increased blood volume or constriction of the blood vessels: At this stage, high blood pressure is reversible.
A secondary result such as the blood vessels permanently thickening:
At this stage, high blood pressure becomes irreversible without the use of potent drugs.
Ninety-five percent of high blood pressure is categorized essential high blood pressure (but primary high blood pressure would be a better term); the cause is unknown. The remaining cases are secondary high blood pressure; a specific disease is identified as the cause. When that disease is treated, the blood pressure usually returns to normal.