Hypertension Risk Factors
In life, there are risks. That can be a good thing when dealing with business ventures or other exciting life decisions, but not so much when assessing your risk factors for developing high blood pressure (hypertension).
The good news is that when it comes to hypertension, a little bit of knowledge and some corresponding action can help reduce at least some of the risk.
Get control of your heart health by identifying your hypertension risk factors and minimizing them where you can.
All in the genes
First, the bad news: sometimes risk factors are beyond your control. For example, no matter how hard you may try, you can’t control the following risk factors:
- Age – as we age, our blood vessels harden, increasing risk of developing hypertension.
- Family History – just like you can’t choose your family, you also can’t choose your family’s health history.
- Gender – overall, men and women are equally at risk for developing hypertension. However, until age 64, men are more likely to develop high blood pressure. After 65, women take the statistical lead.
Other underlying conditions
Besides your genes, there are some other risk factors for hypertension that you and your doctor should watch for because they can cause (or worsen) your high blood pressure:
- Obesity (and weight gain) is closely associated with an increased risk of high blood pressure
- Diabetes often comes with a bevvy of complications, including developing hypertension
- COPD is linked to an increased risk of serious heart-related conditions
- Pregnancy may be only nine months, but your doctor may be on the lookout for gestational hypertension or changes to your chronic hypertension, if you had been previously diagnosed
- Other issues, such as kidney, adrenal, thyroid, and other problems
In your control
Now for the less depressing news. There are many factors that you have some (if not complete) control over. To name a few, you can control the following:
What you can do
Now that you know what you’re dealing with, you can make an action plan. A few small changes can add up to make a big difference in your heart health!
- Swap your smoke break for a walk around the block or a quick yoga session
- Add more color to your diet with extra fruits, veggies, and heart healthy foods
- Instead of that second beer or glass of wine with dinner, opt for one of our 10 drinks to help lower blood pressure
- Try mediating for five minutes or following some tips to lower stress
These may seem like small steps, but a lot of baby steps can go a long way and lead to a healthier lifestyle.
If you’re concerned about your hypertension risk factors, speak with your doctor. They can help you determine your risk factors and come up with a healthy action plan.
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