Top 5 Hypertension Risk Factors

Hypertension risk factors are many that they can’t be overemphasized. Hypertension risk factors are factors that may lead to hypertension. Although tremendous amount of medical research has been carried out with thousands of studies conducted and millions of dollars spent in an effort to understand the causes of a complex disease like hypertension yet no definite cause or causes have been established. All this however have been wasted. Most scientists believe that hypertension is due to a number of different underlying causes, the most important of which could be generic factors like heredity. Other causes also considered to predispose a person to high blood pressure are hardening of arteries, tension and stress, environment and personality, high salt diet and a tendency to overweight.

Heredity- A hypertension risk factor

It is no secret that genes have a lot to do with the medical conditions that you are likely to suffer throughout your life. These are diseases that have a strong genetic basis i.e. they run in families. Hypertension is one such disease.

The inheritance of hypertension is considered to be multifactorial. Several genetic factors are probably responsible for the development of hypertension in children of hypertensive parents. In general, if one parent has a history of hypertension, the children have approximately a 25 percent risk of developing hypertension; the risk rises to up to 90 percent. It is important to recognize that hereditary hypertension often manifests itself when you are in your 30s or 40s. Both men and women are predisposed to develop hypertension if one or both parents had a history of hypertension. How people with a family history of hypertension in their 30s and 40s still remains unclear. It is believed that environmental factors are responsible for this rise in blood pressure. In other words, since a person with a strong family history of hypertension already has a genetic predisposition to developing hypertension, environmental factors such as high salt intake, low potassium intake or high alcohol consumption can precipitate the situation and make a person with high to normal blood pressure develop high blood pressure, i.e. become a true hypertensive. Because of the genetic risk, doctor must always be informed of the family history of hypertension.

Gender- A hypertension risk factor

Hypertension is far more common in men than in women. The overall rate and severity of complications of hypertension are noted to be much higher in men than women. While Joint National Committee on Hypertension considers males over 55 as an identifiable risk factor, women over the age o 65 are considered to be in the same risk category. Despite these differences, hypertension must not be considered a benign disorder for women at any age.


Hypertension Risk Factors
Hypertension Risk Factors

Age- A hypertension risk factor

Scientific studies have confirmed that chances of developing hypertension increase with increasing age. In other words, advancing age does pose an increasing risk developing high blood pressure.

Currently, the committee of experts on hypertension strongly believes that, irrespective of your age, you must not have a blood pressure reading of over 140/90. Higher blood pressure readings as part of ageing process are no longer accepted.

Stress Personality

Psychological stress is considered to be a cause of great concern since it plays a significant role in causing many lifestyle diseases, including hypertension and heart disease. Many studies have concluded that people with high stress jobs suffer from hypertension far more frequently. People living in a close, protected environment, with a strong family support system have been noted to have less hypertension than the urban population with a less satisfactory support system.

Excessive Weight Gain and obesity

Obesity is on the rise in almost all affluent societies around the world. Obesity is often an insidious problem that most commonly starts in the late 20s or early 30s.

In children, with the increasing consumption of junk food and time spent watching television and with computers, video games etc the level and time spent on physical activity continues to go down. An increasing sedentary lifestyle is perhaps the single most important reason for increasing obesity in younger adults.


In conclusion; the message here is very clear. Hypertension risk factors can be handled properly. Those who are consistently on the run are certainly putting their health at risk and are more likely to develop hypertension and heart disease. Successful handling of stress has been shown to be very helpful in the adults.

Edafe Omuabor is a medical doctor and social entrepreneur of Med-Q Health Magazine. Follow him @medqhealthmag on twitter and Facebook


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    1. Temilola Waliu Globalwalyy says

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  2. steve says

    very informative…i have now i know the cause

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