High blood pressure, or hypertension, can be very dangerous to your health. High blood pressure puts a considerable strain on your heart and blood vessels. So if you don’t identify and treat it, the extra strain dramatically increases your risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke.
Unfortunately there are some risk factors which can increase your chance of developing high blood pressure which are out of your control.
Risk factors for high blood pressure you can’t control
- Your ethnicity – people from African-Caribbean or South Asian communities are a greater risk of high blood pressure
- Family history – you’re more likely to have hypertension if members of your family have, or have had, the condition
But there are also some lifestyle-related risk factors which you can control, helping reduce your risk of developing high blood pressure.
Risk factors for high blood pressure you can control
- Low activity levels
- Drinking too much alcohol
- Eating too much salt
- Not eating enough fruit and vegetables
- Carrying excess weight
So how dangerous is high blood pressure?
It’s a fact that high blood pressure is the leading cause of stroke. But it’s also a risk factor for a number of other dangerous conditions, including:
- Heart disease
- Kidney disease
- peripheral arterial disease
- Vascular dementia
- Heart failure
Find out about what foods you should be eating if you have high blood pressure here.