High blood pressure is a common and dangerous condition. Having high blood pressure means the pressure of the blood in your blood vessels is higher than it should be. But you can take steps to control your blood pressure and lower your risk of heart disease and stroke. Risk factors include health conditions, your lifestyle, and your family history that can increase your risk for high blood pressure.Some of the risk factors for high blood pressure cannot be controlled, such as your age or family history. But you can take steps to lower your risk by changing the factors you can control.
When members of a family pass traits from one generation to another through genes, that process is called heredity. Genetic factors likely play some role in high blood pressure, heart disease, and other related conditions. However, it is also likely that people with a family history of high blood pressure share common environments and other potential factors that increase their risk. The risk for high blood pressure can increase even more when heredity combines with unhealthy lifestyle choices, such as smoking cigarettes and eating an unhealthy diet.
High blood pressure increases your risk for heart disease and stroke, two leading causes of death in the United States. No matter your age, you can take steps each day to keep your blood pressure in a healthy range. You can help prevent high blood pressure by making healthy choices and managing any health conditions you may have.