Let’s Talk: What Actually Causes High Blood Pressure?

Some causes of high blood pressure include age, family history, having certain health conditions and poor lifestyle. Knowing the cause of your high blood pressure can help you and your doctor find the right treatment to lower your numbers and better your health. Depending on the cause, your doctor may suggest making lifestyle changes and/or taking medications. Some causes may also require a minimally invasive procedure or surgery. 

High blood pressure can be caused by age

Around 80 percent of people over the age of 60 have high blood pressure. One common reason for this is that our blood vessels begin to stiffen as we age. This causes the pressure in our blood vessels to build up.


High blood pressure can be genetic or caused by other health conditions

Though not common, people in their 20s, 30s and early 40s can have high blood pressure. When this happens, doctors first look for a family history of the condition or a genetic reason. They also check for other health conditions that can cause high blood pressure, such as diabetes and renal artery stenosis (a condition that causes the arteries that lead to the kidneys not to work correctly).


High blood pressure is linked to poor lifestyle 

Another common cause for high blood pressure is poor lifestyle. Poor lifestyle choices that can lead to high blood pressure numbers include:

  • being overweight or obese
  • eating a diet that is high in sodium or low in potassium
  • not exercising
  • smoking
  • drinking too much alcohol

In this case, you may only need to make healthy changes to your lifestyle to lower your blood pressure.

Not sure where your blood pressure numbers stand? Schedule an appointment online with one of our primary care physicians today.

Dr. Vehr specializes in internal medicine and sees patients at our Mt. Auburn location. Her areas of interest include preventative care, primary care, and cholesterol and diabetes management.

Let’s Talk: What Actually Causes High Blood Pressure? In this "Let's Talk" webisode, Geraldine Vehr, MD, from The Christ Hospital Physicians - Primary Care, discusses the causes of high blood pressure, including age, genetics and poor lifestyle choices.

Some causes of high blood pressure include age, family history, having certain health conditions and poor lifestyle. Knowing the cause of your high blood pressure can help you and your doctor find the right treatment to lower your numbers and better your health. Depending on the cause, your doctor may suggest making lifestyle changes and/or taking medications. Some causes may also require a minimally invasive procedure or surgery. 

High blood pressure can be caused by age

Around 80 percent of people over the age of 60 have high blood pressure. One common reason for this is that our blood vessels begin to stiffen as we age. This causes the pressure in our blood vessels to build up.


High blood pressure can be genetic or caused by other health conditions

Though not common, people in their 20s, 30s and early 40s can have high blood pressure. When this happens, doctors first look for a family history of the condition or a genetic reason. They also check for other health conditions that can cause high blood pressure, such as diabetes and renal artery stenosis (a condition that causes the arteries that lead to the kidneys not to work correctly).


High blood pressure is linked to poor lifestyle 

Another common cause for high blood pressure is poor lifestyle. Poor lifestyle choices that can lead to high blood pressure numbers include:

  • being overweight or obese
  • eating a diet that is high in sodium or low in potassium
  • not exercising
  • smoking
  • drinking too much alcohol

In this case, you may only need to make healthy changes to your lifestyle to lower your blood pressure.

Not sure where your blood pressure numbers stand? Schedule an appointment online with one of our primary care physicians today.

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