High Blood Pressure and Genetics: The silent Killer

HBP risk factors at a glance

It is not just one or two specific things that put people at risk for developing HBP (High Blood Pressure) – it’s a variety of different factors. Understanding these risk factors can help you be more aware of how likely you are to develop high blood pressure.

When preexisting medical conditions cause high blood pressure

A small number of high blood pressure cases are secondary hypertension. High blood pressure is sometimes caused by another medical condition that was present first. Examples include pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH), heart defects, and kidney disorders. Most blood pressure issues can be fixed by resolving the underlying cause, whether it be a thyroid condition or an overactive adrenal gland. High blood pressure is called primary or essential hypertension if it has no identifiable cause. It is called secondary or secondary hypertension if it is caused by another medical condition, such as kidney disease, pheochromocytoma, thyrotoxicosis, adrenal hyperplasia, anemia, or polycythemia vera. More than half of the people who have high blood pressure have a form of primary hypertension.

The most common causes of hypertension are high cholesterol levels, obesity, and low physical activity. A high blood pressure is common among children and can be treated easily if caught early.

What to Do if you have High Blood Pressure and You’re a Woman

High blood pressure is more common among African Americans. This is because blacks have a higher risk of developing high blood pressure. 

What behaviors increase the risk of heart disease?

Your lifestyle can be a major factor in whether you get sick or not.

Saturated fats, trans fat, and cholesterol have been shown to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, and research shows that dietary sources of these fats can contribute to a high intake of saturated and trans fat. You need to watch your salt intake as too much salt can raise blood pressure.

Getting enough physical activity can prevent or delay the onset of heart disease. People who have sleep apnea are likely to experience more severe cases of depression. They may also have chronic medical conditions that can cause sleep apnea. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, you may be at increased risk for depression. Regular exercise, such as walking for 30 minutes three times a week, can reduce your risk for heart disease.

Red wine contains some beneficial antioxidants that lower the risk for heart disease. Alcohol does raise blood pressure levels, so if you drink more than one or two glasses of wine, limit your intake to one to two glasses. This is a high carb diet. When there’s more carbohydrate than fat in your diet, your body gets energy from the carbohydrates and stores the excess fat instead. Drink only if you need it. Women should have no more than one drink a day. It is not recommended for men to have more than two drinks a day.

Women should not drink any alcohol at all. This will prevent them from getting pregnant.

Drinking in moderation is fine for men. If you want to know what the daily recommended allowance for men should be, just check out the infographic on the link above.

Tobacco use increases your risk for heart disease and heart attack: Smoking cigarettes can damage the heart and blood vessels, increasing your risk for heart conditions such as atherosclerosis and heart attack. Smoking can raise blood pressure. Smoking cigarettes causes your blood to carry less oxygen than it should, so if you have a heart condition, it’s best to stay away from cigarettes and stick to other forms of nicotine. It’s hard to avoid exposure to secondhand smoke, and this is why it’s important to get out of places that allow smoking.

Smoking cigarettes has been linked to many health problems. It can damage the heart and blood vessels, which increases your risk for heart conditions such as atherosclerosis and heart attack.

Smoking increases your blood pressure, making it harder for your heart to beat.

Smoking will eventually cause you to die. So why do people still smoke? If they’re not careful, carbon monoxide from cigarette smoke will reduce the amount of oxygen that your blood can carry.

Exposure to secondhand smoke can also increase your risk for heart disease. Even if you’re not a smoker, it’s best to avoid smoking in close proximity to other people.

How do genetics and family history affect the risk of heart disease?

When family members pass traits from one generation to another through genes, this process is called heredity.

While it’s not possible to identify any one specific cause for a certain condition, it’s clear that genetic factors likely play a role in many, if not most, conditions. However, it’s also likely that people with a family history of heart disease share common environments and other factors that might increase their risk.

Smoking cigarettes and consuming an unhealthy diet can significantly increase the risk for heart disease. And when heredity is added to these lifestyle choices, the risk for heart disease can be even greater.