Who’s at Risk for High Blood Pressure?

You probably know that high blood pressure is bad, but you may not know why or the trouble that high blood pressure can lead to.

Your blood is carried throughout your body by a series of blood vessels called veins and arteries. As your blood circulates, it pushes against the walls of these blood vessels with a certain amount of pressure. If the force of that pressure is consistently too high, you have what is called hypertension, or high blood pressure.

Almost half of the adults in the United States have hypertension or are taking medicine for it. This is a dangerous health condition that can lead to more serious issues, including stroke, heart disease, and even death.

High blood pressure can be caused by a combination of factors; some of them you can control, and some of them you cannot control. At Physicians Medical Primary Care, we have learned to help patients balance out these risk factors to lower your chances of living with high blood pressure.

Here are a few of the risk factors we commonly see. Let’s start with factors related to who you are (you can’t control these):

Family history

If your parents or other close family members have had high blood pressure, the chances are higher that you will have to deal with it also. 

Age and gender

As you age, the likelihood you’ll get high blood pressure increases (your blood vessels tend to lose some elasticity, which contributes to the higher pressure). Men are more likely to have hypertension up until age 64; after age 65, women become more likely to suffer from the condition.


High blood pressure tends to develop in African-Americans more than in any other race. It can also be more and cause more serious complications.

Now let’s move to factors you can control:


The more weight you carry on your body, the more blood and nutrients your body needs. The more blood that flows through your veins and arteries, the more pressure there is on those blood vessel walls. The weight also puts more strain on your heart.

Lack of physical activity

People who don’t exercise or move as much generally have higher heart rates. The higher your heart rate, the harder your heart has to work, which exerts more pressure on your blood vessel walls. Staying physically active helps mitigate this problem and helps you lose weight.

Unhealthy diet

If you have too much salt (sodium) in your diet, your body will retain water, which makes your blood pressure increase. To stay healthy, eat a balanced diet with the proper levels of all nutrients, including sodium.

Too much drinking

Drinking too much alcohol can lead to many health problems, including an increase in blood pressure. Sometimes this can happen quickly and dramatically, so be very aware of your alcohol consumption.

If you need help controlling your high blood pressure, our expert team at Physicians Medical Primary Care will provide excellent treatment. To set up an appointment, call one of our office locations, or book your own appointment with our convenient online scheduler.

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