High blood pressure: Are you at risk?

Medical people reviewing clip board of high blood pressure risk factors with female.

What is healthy blood pressure?

Your blood pressure is considered normal if it is 120/80 or slightly lower. The higher your blood pressure is above 120/80, the greater the risk of hypertension and heart disease.

What are the risk factors of high blood pressure?

MayoClinic.com lists these risk factors for high blood pressure:

Risk factors you can’t control:

  • Age. The risk rises as you age. Through early middle age, it is more common in men. Women are more likely to develop it after menopause.
  • Race. Some ethnic groups are at higher risk for hypertension than others.
  • Family history.

Risk factors you can control:

  • Being overweight or obese. The more you weigh, the more blood you need to bring nutrients to your tissues. As the volume of blood goes up, so does the pressure against artery walls.
  • Not being physically active. Inactive people tend to have faster heart rates. That makes the force of blood against your arteries harder.
  • Smoking or using tobacco. Tobacco use immediately raises your blood pressure on a temporary basis.
  • Too much salt in your diet.
  • Too little potassium in your diet.
  • Too little vitamin D.
  • Drinking too much alcohol.

Risk factors you can somewhat control:

  • Stress. High levels of stress can lead to a temporary, but dramatic, rise in blood pressure.
  • High cholesterol, diabetes, kidney disease, and sleep apnea.
  • Sometimes, pregnancy contributes to high blood pressure as well.*

* https://www.humana.com/learning-center/health-and-wellbeing/health-conditions/heart-health/heart