Causes of Hypertension

High blood pressure(HBP) or medically named as Hypertension is also referred as “Silent killer” because its occurrence is unnoticed in earlier stages, however some sign and symptoms of hypertension might be observed after several years due to the impact of high blood pressure on other organs like kidney damage, heart problems. Similarly the main cause for hypertension cannot be defined.

High blood pressure is grouped into two forms – Essential high blood pressure or Primary Hypertension and Secondary Hypertension. The “essential” hypertension is most common condition and almost 95% cases of hypertension is essential type of hypertension. The underlying cause for such hypertension is not specific as combination of several factors leads to such type of hypertension. Around 5% of population observes secondary hypertension and the rise in pressure in such condition is due to various medical conditions like kidney disorder, acromegaly, hypothyroidism, sleep apnae, aldosteroidism.

Some of the general causes for hypertension are listed below

Causes of Hypertension

Hypertension Causes Explained

With the developing age, risk of high blood pressure also increases. In Males older than 45 or female older than 55yrs of age, the chances HBP is more.  If left untreated it may decreases 10 yrs. of your life. Males are more prone to development of HBP as compared to females but vice versa occur when age of females exceeds 65 yrs.The increased tendency for hypertension on aging can be attributed to following factors like:

  • Narrowing and stiffening down of arteries.
  • Less active nature of body.
  • Improper kidney function.
  • Inability of body to process salt as well as increased sensitivity towards salt.

Isolated systolic hypertension (ISH) is most common form of HBP in older adults. Such conditions are observed when systolic pressure is usually high (more than 140mmHg). If left untreated, it may lead to stroke, congestive heart failure, blindness, kidney damage. This condition cannot be cured but it can be controlled by various practices like reducing body weight, regular exercises, avoiding smoking and alcohol, and by improving lifestyle. Our main aim should be too blood pressure less than 140/90mmHg.

Race and ethnics plays an important role in hypertension. Hypertension can occur in any individual but the prevalence of hypertension is more common in African American. As a result African American develops high blood pressure at younger age then other US members and more likely develop hypertension related problems like kidney disease, blindness, stroke etc. The high rate of obesity and diabetes and more sensitivity towards salt explains the fact that African American are at high risk for HBP.

One of the major cause of HBP is Obesity. Obesity not only leads to rise in blood pressure but is also responsible for diabetes, Hypercholesterolemia etc. Hypertension develops when the body mass index (BMI) of any person exceeds 30kg/m. When BMI is between 25-30 kg/m, it is considered as overweight and being overweight increases the risk of HBP because as body mass increases, length and number of blood vessels also increases and thus requires more blood supply to meet oxygen and nutrients requirement. The resistance of blood to travel through such long vessels develops which ultimately causes rise in BP.
Obesity also increases insulin level which results in reduction of blood sugar concentration. These changes can lead to HBP by following ways:

  • Induces thickening of vessels, making them more rigid and stiff, thus blood pressure rises.
  • Increases secretion of adrenaline that finally causes increase in cardiac output.
  • Induces re-absorption of water and salt by kidney that facilitates increase in blood volume and thus blood pressure rises.

When alcohol drinks exceeds 5 drinks per day, the chances of HBP increases. Similarly excessive smoking may raise blood pressure to about 5-10mmHg, also drinking more than 5 cups of coffee /day produces mild increase in blood pressure in elder patient who are already suffering from HBP. The best remedy for controlling hypertension is avoiding use of cigarettes and alcohol.

In some women’s, blood pressure rises when they use birth control pills, become pregnant or take hormone therapy. The birth control pills and hormonal treatment like administration of oestrogen causes increase in systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Always consult doctors before using such medicines. Also certain drugs like NSAIDS, amphetamine, medications used in cold and cough like pseudoephedrine are responsible for rise in blood pressure.

High salt intake is also main cause for HBP. Japan has high salt intake than any other countries in world and therefore it has highest incidence of essential hypertension. Reducing sodium intake tends to lower blood pressure. Avoid use of fast foods and always check of sodium content in food packages. Such steps may bring sodium level under normal level and finally your blood pressure will be under control.