What Causes Blood Pressure to Rise?


Quick Answer

Several factors cause blood pressure to rise, according to WebMD. These include smoking, not exercising enough, being overweight, stress, kidney disease and drinking too much

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What Causes Blood Pressure to Rise?
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Full Answer

There are two types of high blood pressure, according to Mayo Clinic: primary hypertension and secondary hypertension. It isn't possible to identify the cause of primary hypertension in most cases. Underlying diseases and conditions cause secondary hypertension. These include taking illegal drugs, sleep apnea, kidney disease and problems with the adrenal gland.

Around 95 percent of high blood pressure cases are primary, according to WebMD. Identifying the cause in these cases is often difficult. There are, however, some unmodifiable risk factors. Being male and of African American descent places a person at higher risk. However, the gap between genders and races closes after the age of 44, and by the age of 65, African American women are at higher risk than other demographics.

There are clear modifiable risk factors that cause high blood pressure, explains WebMD, including eating too much salt. In addition, not eating enough potassium, calcium or magnesium can raise blood pressure. Drinking too much is also a risk factor. More than one to two alcoholic drinks a day is unsafe, states WebMD.

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