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
- 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 makesmokinghistory.org.
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. Or, track your blood pressure online with the American Heart Association’s Check. Change. Control Tracker.