High blood pressure (HBP) is a common condition. In the United States, about 1 in 3 adults has HBP.
Certain traits, conditions, and habits can raise your risk for HBP. The major risk factors for HBP are described below.
Blood pressure tends to rise with age. About 65 percent of Americans aged 60 or older have HBP.
Isolated systolic hypertension (ISH) is the most common form of HBP in older adults. ISH occurs when only systolic blood pressure (the top number) is high. About 2 out of 3 people over age 60 with HBP have ISH.
HBP doesn't have to be a routine part of aging. You can take steps to keep your blood pressure at a normal level. (For more information, go to "How Is High Blood Pressure Treated?")
HBP can affect anyone. However, it's more common in African American adults than in Caucasian or Hispanic American adults. In relation to these groups, African Americans:
HBP risks vary among different groups of Hispanic American adults. For instance, Puerto Rican American adults have higher rates of HBP-related death than all other Hispanic groups and Caucasians. However, Cuban Americans have lower rates of HBP-related death than Caucasians.
You're more likely to develop prehypertension or HBP if you're overweight or obese. The terms "overweight" and "obesity" refer to body weight that's greater than what is considered healthy for a certain height.
Men and women are equally likely to develop HBP during their lifetimes. However, before age 45, men are more likely to have HBP than women. After age 65, the condition is more likely to affect women than men.
Also, men younger than 55 are more likely to have uncontrolled HBP than women. However, after age 65, women are more likely to have uncontrolled HBP.
Many unhealthy lifestyle habits can raise your risk for HBP, including:
A family history of HBP raises your risk for the condition. Long-lasting stress also can put you at risk for HBP.
You're also more likely to develop HBP if you have prehypertension. Prehypertension means that your blood pressure is in the 120–139/80–89 mmHg range.
Prehypertension and HBP are becoming more common in children and teens. This is due in part to a rise in overweight and obesity among children and teens.
African American and Mexican American youth are more likely to have HBP and prehypertension than Caucasian youth. Also, boys are at higher risk for HBP than girls.
Like adults, children and teens need to have routine blood pressure checks, especially if they're overweight.
Myth-busting blood pressure - a hypertension Google+ hangout in honor of World Hypertension Day
Clinical trials are research studies that explore whether a medical strategy, treatment, or device is safe and effective for humans. To find clinical trials that are currently underway for High Blood Pressure, visit www.clinicaltrials.gov.
November 18, 2013
Renal artery stents lead to similar outcome versus medication-only
A commonly used stenting procedure to treat plaque build-up in the renal artery appears to offer no significant improvement when added to medication-based therapy, according to results from a National Institutes of Health-funded study. The narrowing and hardening of one or both renal arteries, known as renal artery stenosis, occurs in 1 to 5 percent of people who have high blood pressure, or hypertension.
The Heart Truth®—a national heart disease awareness campaign for women—is sponsored by the NHLBI. The campaign's goal is to give women a personal and urgent wakeup call about their risk for heart disease.
Every woman has a story to tell and the power to take action to protect her heart health. Share your story with other women on Facebook.
The Heart Truth campaign offers a variety of public health resources to help educate women and health professionals about women’s heart disease.
Learn more about key campaign events, activities, and resources at www.hearttruth.gov.
December 9, 2013
Gary H. Gibbons
Epidemiologist Immerses Himself in Big Data as He Studies the Link Between HIV and Cardiovascular Disease
The NHLBI updates Health Topics articles on a biennial cycle based on a thorough review of research findings and new literature. The articles also are updated as needed if important new research is published. The date on each Health Topics article reflects when the content was originally posted or last revised.