In most cases of hypertension in adults, there is no known cause. This type of hypertension is called primary or essential hypertension and it has usually developed over many years.
In 5 to 10 percent of cases, hypertension is caused by other underlying medical conditions.
Factors you cannot control
Age. Older people are at a higher risk of developing hypertension. Women are at higher risk after menopause.
Family history. Hypertension tends to run in families.
Factors you can control
Smoking. Chemicals in cigarettes cause the heart to pump faster and lead to higher blood pressure.
Alcohol. Your blood pressure can be elevated by alcohol consumption as the body releases hormones that increase blood flow and heart rate.
Overweight. The heart needs to pump harder to supply a person who is overweight. You can reduce your risk of getting high blood pressure by keeping your body mass index (BMI) between 18.5 and 22.9.
Too much salt in diet. Blood pressure
is increased as salt causes the body to
retain too much fluid.
Inactive lifestyle. People who are
physically inactive often have higher
heart rates, which means that the
heart must work harder and exert
more force on the arteries.
High blood cholesterol. Your blood
vessels become more rigid due to
atherosclerosis, a process where fatty
substances are deposited in blood
Other health conditions. About 10
percent of people with high blood
pressure have underlying kidney
diseases or hormonal disorders.