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Hypertension And Its Risk Factors: How To Reduce Your Risks by HealthFixHub: 4:37pm On Oct 31, 2018
A good number of factors can put you at higher risk of developing high blood pressure or hypertension. Learning and understanding the risk factors for hypertension will help you steer clear of factors that raise your blood pressure.


What is hypertension?
Hypertension is elevated blood pressure that is greater than or equal to 140/90 mmHg. I.e. a blood pressure/force that is strong enough to cause damage to your organs. The reading is taken when the patient is at rest, and on at least two occasions, 4 to 6 hours apart.

Blood pressure is the force with which blood pumped by the heart pushes against the walls of the arteries.

Read – How to measure blood pressure at home

Hypertension can be primary (essential) or secondary. In primary hypertension, the exact cause is unknown and it constitutes 90% of all cases.

On the other hand, secondary hypertension is as a result of a specific potentially treatable cause. In addition, when pre-existing medical conditions such as Pregnancy Induced Hypertension (PIH), kidney disorders or certain heart defects result in hypertension, it is classified as secondary.

Grouping of risk factors for hypertension
The risk factors for hypertension can be grouped into modifiable and non-modifiable risk factors. The modifiable risk factors are those risk factors that can be influenced to reduce one’s susceptibility to the disease. While non-modifiable risk factors are those ones that can’t be influenced.


measure blood pressure at home - modifiable and non-modifiable risk factors

Non-modifiable risk factors for hypertension
Non-modifiable risk factors for hypertension include:

#1 Age: Blood pressure rises with age.
#2 Sex: Blood pressure is higher in males than in females. This is because estrogen protects against high blood pressure. However, post-menopausal women are predisposed to hypertension. This is because they have lost their estrogen protection and have increased levels of cholesterol.
#3 Ethnicity: It is commoner in the black race.
#4 Genetics: there is higher concordance in monozygotic twins than dizygotic twins.


Modifiable Risk Factors for Hypertension

The modifiable risk factors for hypertension include:

#1 Environment: The incidence is higher in urban than in rural areas due to the adoption of the western lifestyle.
#2 Stress: Repetitive psychogenic stress with the interaction of increased sympathetic activity may have a role in hypertension.
#3 Obesity: This is the body mass index(BMI) greater than 30. Truncal fat accumulation especially is associated with increased risk of hypertension.
#4 Sedentary lifestyle: This is a lifestyle with little or no physical activity. It has also been found to increase the risk of hypertension.
#5 Sodium intake: The kidneys require a higher blood pressure to maintain extracellular volume within normal levels in persons with reduced sodium excretion.
#6 Low birth weight: This is due to intrauterine under-nutrition that leads to long-term changes in blood vessel structure or function of hormone systems.
#7 Smoking: This is vasculotoxic.
#8 Excessive alcohol: Though, some alcohol are cardioprotective. Eg red wine contains flavonoids which have antioxidant properties.

Conclusion



Now that you know the different risk factors for hypertension, pay attention especially to the modifiable ones. Also, make the necessary changes to your lifestyle to reduce your risk of becoming hypertensive.

Stay healthy, stay happy, stay strong so you can have a wonderful life with your family.

Source: https://www.healthfixhub.com/2018/09/16/hypertension-and-its-risk-factors/

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