What causes hypertension or high blood pressure ?

What causes hypertension or high blood pressure?

What Causes Hypertension Or High Blood Pressure

You all must have heard about high blood pressure causing inconvenience to humans, and leading to many fatal diseases. However, there is a slight difference in the high blood pressure caused instantly or someone who has had it for a prolonged period of time. 

Understanding high blood pressure, its causes, symptoms, and risk associated with it can help in preventing it from happening. Our little attention to having a brief understanding can help in diverting the problem at an earlier time. 

Blood pressure is commonly called hypertension. High blood pressure is caused when the force of blood against the artery walls in the heart is too rapid resulting in difficult functioning of the heart. 

Measurement of blood pressure is done in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). Reading of hypertension is generally 130/80 or higher. 

Normal blood pressure is 120/80 mm Hg or lowers whereas upraised blood pressure is 120 to 129 mm Hg and the lower digit not being above 80.

Hypertension at stage 1 ranges from 130-139 mm Hg at higher numbers and 80-89 mm Hg at bottom numbers whereas stage 2 hypertension ranges from 140 mm Hg or higher and the bottom number is 90 mm Hg or higher.

A hypertensive emergency is a crisis that is considered when the blood pressure reaches 180/120 mm Hg. It is required to seek immediate help with such high blood pressure, if left untreated it could result in stroke, heart attack, or other serious conditions. 

Symptoms of high blood pressure

BP usually don’t have many symptoms. People with high blood pressure often don’t feel the symptoms. However, there are some people who may feel these symptoms such as-

  • Shortness of breath
  • Nose bleeding
  • Headache

Causes of high blood pressure

The more the blood pressure, the higher the blood has to be pumped against the arteries. 

There are two types of high blood pressure 

Essential/primary hypertension-

When the cause of high blood pressure cannot be identified, it is called primary hypertension. It can develop gradually and the build-up of plaque in the arteries rapidly increases the risk of high blood pressure. 

Secondary hypertension- 

When high blood pressure is caused by an already existing condition or medication, it is known as secondary hypertension. Conditions and medications leading to this kind of hypertension are- 

  • Adrenal Gland Tumor
  • Congenital heart defect
  • Use of illegal drugs such as cocaine
  • Medicines for cough and cold, pain relievers, birth control pills, and others
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Kidney disease

Risk factors of high blood pressure-


High blood pressure among men is common till  64 yr old whereas women tend to develop high blood pressure after 65 years of age.


High blood pressure is common among black people more than white people. 


You’re more likely to have high blood pressure if someone in your close family has it. 


Obesity or being overweight causes or leads to changes in blood vessels and other parts of the body. This change leads to increasing in blood pressure. 

Being inactive- 

Being inactive or lack of exercising can cause high blood pressure. 

Using tobacco or vaping- 

Eating tobacco or smoking vaping damages blood vessel walls and speeds up the process of hardening arteries. 

A lot of sodium- 

A lot of sodium or salt in the body may increase blood pressure.

Heavy alcoholism- 

Heavy alcoholism increases blood pressure, mainly in men. 


High-stress levels can temporarily increase blood pressure. 

Chronic conditions-

Certain chronic conditions such as kidney disease, diabetes, or sleep apnea can also increase blood pressure.


Sometimes pregnancy can cause high blood pressure. 

Complications caused by high blood pressure

Heart attack- 

Thickening of arteries due to high blood pressure can lead to a heart attack.

Heart failure-

During high blood pressure, the heart has to pump blood faster and harder, causing strain and leading the walls of the heart chamber to harden. In this condition, the heart is unable to pump enough blood as required by the body, leading to heart failure


High blood pressure can lead to the weakening of blood vessels and forming bludge. This aneurysm if ruptures, could be fatal. 

Metabolic syndrome- 

It involves the breaking down of sugar, decreased high-density lipoprotein, or good cholesterol, high triglycerides, and high blood pressure and sugar levels. It may cause diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. 

Disrupting memory- 

High blood pressure can affect the ability to think and remember.


Blocked arteries can limit blood flow to the brain causing a specific kind of dementia known as Vascular dementia. 

Eye problems- 

Increased blood pressure can cause vision loss as it can cause thickened or torn blood vessels in the eyes. 

Kidney problems-

Blood vessels in the kidneys become weak leading to kidney damage. 

High blood pressure may sound like not so serious problem but can be fatal sometimes. Taking proper steps prior to preventing it is crucial. Checking high blood pressure especially in youngsters every two years apart and keeping a check may help you understand where your blood pressure stands. If you may have some risk factors associated, checking blood pressure every year is essential.

If you notice any abnormalities, contact your nearby doctors.

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