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Causes of high blood pressure

The older you are the higher the risk of getting high blood pressure.
If you have close family members with hypertension, your chances of developing it are significantly higher. An international scientific study involving over 150 scientists from 93 centers in Europe and the USA identified eight common genetic differences which may increase the risk of high blood pressure.

A study which monitored 8801 participants over the age of 65 in three French cities, found out that systolic and diastolic blood pressure values differed significantly across the four seasons of the year and according to the distribution of outdoor temperature. Blood pressure was lower when it got warmer, and rose when it got colder.

Evidence in Europe and North America indicates that people with African and/or South Asian ancestry have a higher risk of developing hypertension, compared to people with predominantly Caucasian or Amerindian (indigenous of the Americas) ancestries.

Obesity/overweight / overweight refers to having extra body weight from muscle, bone, fat and/or water. Obesity tends to refer just to having a high amount of extra body fat. Both overweight and obese people are more likely to develop high blood pressure, compared to people of normal weight.

Some aspects of gender – in general, high blood pressure is more common among adult men than adult women. However, after the age of 60 both men and women are equally susceptible. Women aged 18-59 are more likely to identify the signs and symptoms and subsequently to seek treatment for high blood pressure, compared to men.

Smoking causes the blood vessels to narrow, resulting in higher blood pressure. Smoking also reduces the blood’s oxygen content so the heart has to pump faster in order to compensate, causing a rise in blood pressure.

The risk may even sometimes include people who drink regularly, but not in excess. People who drink regularly have higher systolic blood pressure than people who do not, say researchers from the University of Bristol, UK. They found that systolic blood pressure levels are about 7 mmHg higher in frequent drinkers than in people who do not drink.

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