In most cases, it's not clear exactly what causes high blood pressure (hypertension). But there are several things that can increase your risk.

Who's at risk of high blood pressure?

Factors that can raise your risk of developing high blood pressure include:

  • age the risk of developing high blood pressure increases as you get older
  • a family history of high blood pressure
  • being of African or Caribbean origin
  • a high amount of salt in your food
  • a lack of exercise
  • being overweight or Obesity
  • regularly drinking large amounts of alcohol
  • smoking
  • long-term sleep deprivation

Making healthy lifestyle changes can help keep your blood pressure at a normal level.


Known causes of high blood pressure

In about 1 in 20 cases, high blood pressure occurs as the result of an underlying condition, medication or drug.

Conditions that can cause high blood pressureinclude:

  • kidney disease
  • diabetes
  • long-term kidney infections
  • obstructive sleep apnoea a condition in which the walls of the throat relax and narrow during sleep, interrupting normal breathing
  • glomerulonephritis damage to the tiny filters insidethe kidneys
  • narrowing of the arteries supplying the kidneys
  • hormone problems such as an underactive thyroid , an overactive thyroid , Cushing's syndrome , acromegaly , increased levels of the hormone aldosterone (hyperaldosteronism) and phaeochromocytoma
  • lupus a condition in which the immune system attacksparts of the body such as the skin, joints and organs
  • scleroderma a condition thatcauses thickenedskin, and sometimes problems with organs and blood vessels

Medicines and drugs that can increase your blood pressure include:

  • the combined oral contraceptive pill
  • steroid medication
  • non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen and naproxen
  • someover-the-counter cough and cold remedies
  • some herbal remedies particularly those containingliquorice
  • some recreational drugs such as cocaine and amphetamines
  • some selective serotonin-noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor (SSNRI) antidepressants such as venlafaxine

In these cases, your blood pressure may return to normal once you stop taking the medicine or drug.

Adrenaline is a hormone produced at times of stress that affects heart rate, blood circulation and other functions of the body.
Genetic is a term that refers to genes- the characteristics inherited from a family member.
Heart attacks
A heart attack happens when there is a blockage in one of the arteries in the heart.
Kidneys are a pair of bean-shaped organs located at the back of the abdomen, which remove waste and extra fluid from the blood and pass them out of the body as urine.
The origin is the place where something begins.
Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 30 Nov 2016