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Reduce your risk for high blood pressure

Set Goals. Take your medicines as prescribed. Keep a healthy lifestyle.

Risk factors for high blood pressure

Certain individuals are more likely to develop high blood pressure than others because of genetics and/or behavior. The following people are at higher risk of developing high blood pressure:

  • Individuals with family members who have high blood pressure
  • Those who eat too much salty or fatty food
  • People who smoke
  • African-Americans
  • Women who are pregnant
  • Women who take birth control pills
  • People over the age of 35
  • People who are overweight or obese
  • Individuals who are not physically active
  • Those who drink alcohol excessively (more than one drink per day for women; two for men)
  • Anyone with chronic kidney disease
  • Those with adrenal and thyroid disorders
  • People with higher stress levels

How can I lower my blood pressure?

If you have high blood pressure, follow your healthcare provider's advice.

  • Reduce your intake of sodium, caffeine and alcohol
  • Be active/exercise regularly for 30 minutes, five times a week — stay motivated by trying new activities!
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Eat a healthy diet that includes lots of vegetables and fruits, try new things there are so many possibilities!
  • Quit smoking. Once you quit smoking, your risk of heart attack drops quickly — in as little as two to three weeks. Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW or visit

Check your blood pressure regularly at your local drug store, pharmacy, or doctor’s office, or buy a blood pressure monitor and track your progress with DPH’s My Blood Pressure Wallet Card.