|CRDAMC Homepage | CRDAMC Library Phone #: (254) 288-8366 | CRDAMC Library Fax #: (254) 288-8368|
Risk Factors for Hypertension
by Debra Wood, RN
A risk factor is something that increases your likelihood of getting a disease or condition.
It is possible to develop hypertension with or without the risk factors listed below. However, the more risk factors you have, the greater your likelihood of developing hypertension. If you have a number of risk factors, ask your doctor what you can do to reduce your risk.
Blood vessels lose flexibility as you get older, which makes it easier to develop hypertension. Although hypertension can develop at any age, risk begins to increase after 35 years of age. Hypertension is most common in people aged 65 years and older.
Men are generally at greater risk for hypertension than pre-menopausal women, but women's risk increases and is slightly greater than that of a man after menopause.
African-Americans tend to have higher rates of hypertension, develop it earlier, and have more severe hypertension.
Other risk factors include:
Hypertension can be common in some families. If you have close relatives (parents, grandparents, siblings) with hypertension, you may be at increased risk of hypertension.
Specific Lifestyle Factors
Certain medical conditions affect the health of blood vessels, impair circulation, and make the heart work harder to circulate blood. Over time, these conditions can lead to hypertension. Some conditions contribute to hypertension slowly, over a long period of time. These conditions include:
Other conditions can create a more rapid increase in blood pressure. These include:
Pre-eclampsia is an increase in blood pressure during pregnancy. In most cases, blood pressure normalizes after the baby's birth. However, having a history of preeclampsia increases your risk of developing hypertension.
Some medications cause blood vessels to constrict, which makes your blood pressure rise. Over time, this increases your risk of hypertension. Some of these include:
Jolly S1, Vittinghoff E, Chattopadhyay A, Bibbins-Domingo K. Higher cardiovascular disease prevalence and mortality among younger blacks compared to whites. Am J Med. 2010; 123(9):811-818.
Risk factors for hypertension. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.... Updated February 24, 2016. Accessed September 20, 2016.
Understand your risk for high blood pressure. American Heart Association website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Updated June 29, 2016. Accessed September 20, 2016.
Who is at risk for high blood pressure? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Updated September 10, 2015. Accessed September 20, 2016.
Last reviewed September 2017 by Michael J. Fucci, DO, FACC
Last Updated: 11/20/2017
EBSCO Information Services is fully accredited by URAC. URAC is an independent, nonprofit health care accrediting organization dedicated to promoting health care quality through accreditation, certification and commendation.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
To send comments or feedback to our Editorial Team regarding the content please email us at email@example.com. Our Health Library Support team will respond to your email request within 2 business days.