Causes of Hypertension

In about 90% of people who develop hypertension worldwide, the cause is not known. The term essential or primary hypertension is used to refer to hypertension that has no known cause but rather has multiple factors that predispose us to hypertension.

These factors that increase your risk of developing essential hypertension include:
  • Physical inactivity and lack of exercise
  • Drinking too much of alcohol and beer especially more than 2 bottles per day
  • Smoking
  • Eating a salt rich diet especially through fatty and processed foods
  • Age: the risk of developing hypertension increases with age. Hypertension is prevalent in people who are over 60 years old
  • Overweight and obesity
  • Race: African Americans, black Africans and people of Caribbean origin are at a higher risk of developing hypertension than other races
  • Sleep apnea
  • Stress
  •  Family history of hypertension
  •   Smoking
In about 10% of High blood pressure cases, there is a cause for it. This is referred to as secondary hypertension.
The causes of secondary hypertension include:
  • Nonsteroidal anti-Inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). These are pain killer medication and an example is ibuprofen and paracetamol
  • Oral contraceptive pills
  • Diabetes
  • Kidney disease
  • Certain hormone diseases like Cushing’s syndrome
  • Drugs e.g. cocaine
  • Pregnancy


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