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What Causes High Blood Pressure?

Andrew Bellingham

Andrew Bellingham

Pharmacist | 20+ Years | BPharm | Dip Clin Pharm

What is High Blood Pressure?

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a common condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It occurs when the force of blood against the walls of your arteries is consistently too high.

Though it depends on the individual, high blood pressure is typically defined by having a sustained pressure of 140/90mmHg and above, with the ideal blood pressure being 120/80mmHg.

Causes of High Blood Pressure

A “risk factor” for high blood pressure refers to any characteristic, condition, or behaviour that increases the likelihood of developing hypertension.

However, it’s important to note that having one or more risk factors does not necessarily mean that a person will develop high blood pressure. It simply means that the likelihood of developing hypertension is higher for someone with these risk factors compared to someone without them.

With that said, here are the risk factors for high blood pressure:

  • Getting older
  • Having a family history of high blood pressure
  • Being of black African or black Caribbean descent
  • Lack of physical exercise, and being obese
  • Smoking or chewing tobacco
  • Drinking too much alcohol
  • High levels of stress

Risks of High Blood Pressure

If left untreated, having high blood pressure can put additional strain on your heart and other organs, resulting in the following problems: 

  • Heart disease 
  • Stroke
  • Heart attacks
  • Heart failure
  • Kidney disease
  • Loss of vision
  • Dementia

Lifestyle Changes to Reduce High Blood Pressure

One of the most effective ways to reduce high blood pressure is simply through changing up your lifestyle. These changes can be simple but impactful, and they can also improve overall health and well-being.

  • Eating a healthy, balanced diet with a limited amount of salt
  • Exercise 30 minutes a day, a minimum of 5 days a week – this can be as simple as walking
  • Cut down on alcohol
  • Quit Smoking
  • Reduce your caffeine intake
  • Reduce your stress levels

Medications for High Blood Pressure

If you’re diagnosed with high blood pressure by your doctor, they may recommend a course of medication in addition to significant lifestyle changes.

There are several types of blood pressure medication that you may be prescribed based on your blood pressure levels, age and ethnicity: 

  • Diuretics – such as furosemide 
  • ACE inhibitors – such as ramipril
  • Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) – such as losartan
  • Calcium channel blockers – such as amlodipine
  • Beta blockers – such as bisoprolol
  • Alpha blockers – such as doxazosin

Get Better with Healthera – your personal health hub

If you’ve been diagnosed with high blood pressure by your doctor and have a prescription for a medication, you can use your Healthera app to process your order online for home delivery or collection from your local community pharmacy.

To get started, open or download the Healthera app by clicking the button below.

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