Blood pressure tends to rise with age, unless you take steps to prevent or control it.
Some medical problems—such as chronic kidney disease, thyroid disease, and sleep apnea—may cause blood pressure to rise. Some medicines also may raise your blood pressure. Examples include asthma medicines (for example, corticosteroids) and cold-relief products.
Other medicines also can cause high blood pressure (HBP). If you have HBP, let your doctor know about all of the medicines you take, including over-the-counter products.
In some women, birth control pills, pregnancy, or hormone therapy (HT) may cause blood pressure to rise.
Women taking birth control pills usually have a small rise in both systolic and diastolic blood pressures. If you already have HBP and want to use birth control pills, make sure your doctor knows about your HBP. Talk with him or her about how often you should have your blood pressure checked and how to control it while taking the pill.
Taking HT to reduce the symptoms of menopause can cause a small rise in systolic blood pressure. If you already have HBP and want to start using HT, talk with your doctor about the risks and benefits. If you decide to take hormones, find out how to control your blood pressure and how often you should have it checked.
Children younger than 10 years old who have HBP often have another condition that's causing it (such as kidney disease). Treating the underlying condition may resolve the HBP.
The older a child is when HBP is diagnosed, the more likely he or she is to have essential hypertension. This means that doctors don't know what's causing the HBP.
Myth-busting blood pressure - a hypertension Google+ hangout in honor of World Hypertension Day04/18/2013
Moderated by American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown, this "Google+ Hangout on Air" features a panel of experts from the American Heart Association as well as nutritionist Janet M. de Jesus from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. The panelists discuss common myths and misconceptions about hypertension (high blood pressure) and what you can do to prevent or treat the "silent killer." The chat was streamed live on April 5, 2013 in honor of World Health Day on Sunday, April 7.
The NHLBI "Grand Opportunity" Exome Sequencing Project05/16/2012
This video—presented by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health—discusses the NHLBI's Exome Sequencing Project. Made possible by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, this project provided six awards at five academic institutions to identify genetic connections to heart, lung, and blood diseases. Individual studies will address critical health issues, such as heart attack, stroke, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, overweight and obesity, and others.
Managing High Blood Pressure With Lifestyle Changes05/18/2011
This video—presented by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health—shows how Kendra, the mother of a teenaged daughter, has learned to manage her high blood pressure. Before being diagnosed with high blood pressure, Kendra suffered from chronic headaches and tiredness. At a health fair sponsored by her company, Kendra learned that her blood pressure was high, which prompted her to see her doctor.
After being diagnosed with high blood pressure, Kendra made a commitment to living a healthier lifestyle. By following a healthy diet and being physically active, she lost almost 60 pounds. With the support of her girlfriend and daughter, Kendra has maintained her weight loss and continues to make lifestyle changes that allow her to live an active, happy life.
For more information about managing high blood pressure with lifestyle changes, go to the Health Topics High Blood Pressure article.