Managing Hypertension

Managing Hypertension

Risk Factors

The following can increase your chances for developing high blood pressure:

Older age: The risk of high blood pressure increases as you age.

High blood pressure is more common in men who are 45 years of age and older, while women are more likely to develop the condition after age 65.

Race: High blood pressure is more common in African-American adults than in Caucasian or Hispanic-American adults.

African-Americans tend to develop hypertension earlier in life and often experience more severe cases that lead to serious complications, such as stroke, heart attack, and kidney failure.

Family history: Having a family history of high blood pressure can also increase your risk, as the condition tends to run in families.

Being overweight: The more you weigh, the more blood you need to supply oxygen and nutrients to your tissues.

Sedentary lifestyle: Being inactive is often linked to factors that can increase your heart rate, such as obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Alcohol consumption: Drinking more than two drinks a day for men and more than one drink a day for women may affect your blood pressure.

Chronic conditions: Having kidney disease, sleep apnea, or diabetes can affect blood pressure.

Pregnancy: Being pregnant can cause an increase in blood pressure.

Birth control: Women who take birth control pills are at greater risk of developing high blood pressure.


If left untreated, high blood pressure can lead to the following:


Heart attack, angina, or both

Heart failure

Kidney failure

Peripheral arterial disease

Retinal problems (retinopathy)


Treatment for high blood pressure may include eating a nutritious diet, taking medications, and healthy lifestyle changes.

Keep a Healthy Weight: Maintaining a healthy weight can help you control high blood pressure and keep other complications at bay.

Exercise: Regular exercise can keep your weight under control, as well as help lower your blood pressure.

Limit Alcohol Consumption: Alcohol can raise your blood pressure, even if you don’t have hypertension, so everyone should monitor alcoholic intake.

Don’t Smoke: Chewing and smoking tobacco damages blood vessel walls, speeds up the process of hardening of the arteries, and increases your risk for high blood pressure.

Manage Stress: Learning how to manage stress, relax, and cope with problems can improve your emotional and physical health.

Medication: Many people need to take a combination of medications to effectively treat their hypertension. Depending on your body, medical history, and severity of hypertension, your doctor may recommend different combinations of drugs before determining which is best for you.


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