What is your risk for having high blood pressure?

High Blood Pressure Is A Common Problem In The United States

In the United States, high blood pressure is a very common problem. About 1 out of every 3 adults in the United States has high blood pressure (hypertension). You are more likely to have high blood pressure than to have other common issues:

Risk Factors Related to High Blood Pressure

Many factors can contribute to developing high blood pressure. Some common factors that increase your chances of developing high blood pressure are:

  • Older age
  • Family history
  • Race
  • Overweight/obesity
  • Diet
  • Lack of exercise
  • Drinking too much alcohol regularly

Are you over the age of 35?

As age increases, so does your risk for having high blood pressure. Adults over the age of 35 are at a higher risk for having high blood pressure than adults under the age of 35.

There is no direct difference between men and women when it comes to blood pressure, but here are some things to think about:

Men that are 65 years old or younger are more
likely to have high blood pressure than women
who are 65 years old or younger. Men develop
high blood pressure at a younger age.

Regardless of gender, everyone is at risk for having high blood pressure. The chance of developing high blood pressure at any age is 90%.

Do you have a history of high blood pressure or heart disease in your family?

If either your mother or father had high blood pressure, you may have an increased chance of developing high blood pressure. Problems with blood pressure may be passed through your family genes.

If there is a family history of high blood pressure, it is important that you check your blood pressure.

Are you African American or Hispanic?

High blood pressure affects different racial and ethnic groups differently. While the reasons for this difference are not clear, it is important to know if you are part of a high risk population.

African Americans usually:

  • Have a higher risk of having high blood pressure
  • Have higher blood pressure numbers
  • Develop high blood pressure at an earlier age than other racial groups

Hispanics are:

  • Least likely to have their blood pressure controlled

Are you overweight or obese?

Being overweight or obese can have a serious impact on your health. If you are obese or overweight, you have a higher chance for having high blood pressure and are at high risk for dangerous health risks if you do have high blood pressure.

Do you eat foods that are high in fat and cholesterol? Do you eat enough fruits and vegetables?

Like the gas that makes a car run, the food you eat keeps you moving and living. If you frequently eat foods that are too high in fat (like French fries) or too high in sugar (like candy, sugared drinks), your body will have a hard time processing them and you can gain excess weight. If your daily diet includes foods that are high in fat and cholesterol and low in vitamins, minerals, and fiber, you are putting yourself at an increased risk for high blood pressure, weight gain, and other serious health problems.

Do you exercise? We mean really exercise...

Exercising at least 30 minutes per day on most days of the week is helpful in keeping your blood pressure in control. If you do not exercise, you increase your risk of being overweight and also increase your chance of having high blood pressure.

Do you drink more than 2 servings of an alcoholic beverage every day?

If you drink more than 2 alcoholic drinks per day, you are increasing your chance of having high blood pressure.

Source:

National Heart Lung Blood Institute. Risk factors for hypertension. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/hbp/atrisk

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