Risk factors for the development of hypertension

Weakening of the circulatory system is a risk factor for hypertension

Risk factors for hypertension can vary depending on the type of disease. There are two types: primary, or essential, and secondary hypertension. The first type occurs many times more often than the second - it is diagnosed in 95% of patients with hypertension, and its development is associated with three groups of factors: the general condition of the body, lifestyle and heredity. Secondary hypertension affects 5% of patients, and the risk factor for its development is various pathologies of certain organs. Some of the factors can be kept under control, reducing the risk of developing the disease.

Risk factors for primary hypertension

Essential arterial hypertension is a multifactorial disease; In some cases, it is impossible to determine exactly the cause of the increase in pressure. The danger of the disease lies in the fact that its symptoms do not appear immediately - the causes can undermine health gradually, imperceptibly. In addition, even in a latent state, hypertension increases the risk of developing myocardial infarction and stroke.

Health status

One of the reasons for the development of hypertension is the deterioration of the elasticity of the arterioles - small arterial vessels that carry blood to the capillaries. The condition of the vascular walls is influenced by several factors:

  • aging of the body;
  • sedentary way of life;
  • heredity;
  • inflammatory processes in tissues.

The composition of the blood is also important for the health of the blood vessels. Weakening of the circulatory system is primarily associated with diabetes mellitus. Blood sugar levels are regulated by insulin, a hormone from the pancreas. If its secretion is reduced or it cannot perform its functions normally, the vessels are stimulated by the sympathetic nervous system more than they dilate under the action of insulin, leading to an increase in blood pressure.

In addition to the condition of blood vessels, the risk of hypertension is influenced by body weight. Obesity causes the body to demand more blood, which increases the workload on the heart and blood vessels. According to statistics, 85% of people suffering from this disease have a body mass index higher than normal. If obesity is combined with diabetes, it indicates a more complex metabolic syndrome - a metabolic pathology in which the destruction of vessel walls by cholesterol, triglycerides and glucose can lead to the development of atherosclerosis.

A risk factor for the development of hypertension is also sleep apnea - stopping breathing for 10 seconds or more during sleep. This happens with severe snoring, when the airways are completely blocked due to pathology of their structure or other reasons. Each stop of breathing is a strong stress for the body, and the pressure rises to 200-250 mmHg. Art. Regular attacks lead to chronic arterial hypertension.


A poor lifestyle is a group of risk factors that are most easily controlled to prevent the onset of disease. They include:

  • an unhealthy diet leading to an imbalance of salt balance in the body;
  • lack of physical activity;
  • smoking;
  • alcohol abuse;
  • chronic stress.

Excessive consumption of table salt is a symptom that unites most people suffering from arterial hypertension; Risk factors for this include both high sodium and low potassium. Salts affect pressure from both sides: they cause blood vessels to constrict and retain water in the body. As a result, both the volume of blood and its pressure on the walls of the arteries increase. To avoid this, you should eat no more than 5. 8 g of salt per day.

A sedentary lifestyle does not only lead to obesity. In the absence of activity, arrhythmia develops - the heart weakens, and in order to pump blood in the necessary quantities, it must beat more often, which increases the load on the entire cardiovascular system. During exercise, hormones are produced that strengthen the heart muscle and relax blood vessels, which leads to a decrease in blood pressure.

Tobacco raises blood pressure, whether it is smoked, chewed or snorted. The chemicals with which it is impregnated destroy the blood vessels. Nicotine has a complex effect on the circulatory system - it accelerates the heart rate, increases the load on the blood vessels and narrows the lumen of the arteries. E-cigarettes do not save you from this negative effect, although without the carbon monoxide produced by burning tobacco entering the blood, the blood vessels will still be healthier.

Alcohol destroys the heart muscle, which leads to an increase in blood pressure. Women are recommended to drink no more than 0. 5 liters of drinks with an alcohol content of 5% per day, men - no more than 1 liter before the age of 65 and no more than 0. 5 liters - after the age of 65.

Stress causes disturbances in the functioning of the nervous system and leads to a complex deterioration of the functioning of the body, including blood pressure. In addition, it is a prerequisite for the appearance of bad habits - overeating, smoking and alcoholism, which directly increase the risk of developing arterial hypertension.


Hypertension is inherited from parents

Family history is particularly important in the diagnosis of hypertension; risk factors, as a rule, are the general environment (environmental situation in the place where the family lives) and behavior (lifestyle factors are probably passed on from parents to the child), but above all genes. Heredity is considered a major factor in the development of arterial hypertension: there are genes that cause an increase in the synthesis of renin, a kidney hormone that increases blood pressure.

Hypertension is associated with heredity in 30% of cases, so it is important to monitor family history and note any diseases diagnosed in close relatives (parents, siblings, grandparents) - this will help to assess the riskfrom the development of pathology and to prevent it. If there is a risk, you should control your lifestyle even more carefully.

Knowing all these factors, hypertension can be prevented by monitoring the development of prehypertension, a condition in which blood pressure is on the borderline between normal and dangerous.

condition Pressure values (mmHg)
Systolic Diastolic
norm 120 80
Prehypertension 120–139 80–89
Hypertension >140 >90

In order to detect the disease in time if you are at risk, or to monitor your health status in case of hypertension, it is recommended to measure your blood pressure twice a day: in the morning and in the evening, as well as when you are not feeling well.

Risk factors for secondary hypertension

If primary hypertension develops against the background of a general deterioration of the condition of the body and, in particular, of the circulatory system, then the risk factors for the development of secondary hypertension are specific diseases of the kidneys, endocrine glands, and the cardiovascular system.

Kidney diseases

The main renal pathology leading to an increase in blood pressure is the reduction of the lumen of the renal artery. It can be congenital or develop at an older age. The main reasons for the intravital development of the pathology:

  • thickening of the smooth muscle of the artery - occurs in young women;
  • atherosclerosis - in old age.

Due to this disease, the blood flow in the kidneys deteriorates, which leads to increased secretion of renin and angiotensin. Together with the adrenal hormone aldosterone, they lead to an increase in vascular tone and an increase in blood pressure. To treat pathology, the vessel is mechanically expanded and reinforced with a frame.

In addition, changes in hormonal levels can be influenced by chronic pathological processes in the kidneys - pyelonephritis, formation of stones in the bladder, etc. The opposite reaction can also occur - hypertension can lead to diseases of the excretory system.

Adrenal tumors

Sometimes diseases of the adrenal glands lead to an increase in arterial tone. These include the development of tumors that increase the production of hormones:

  1. Aldosterome - produces aldosterone. In addition to hypertension, this also leads to increased release of potassium from the body.
  2. Pheochromocytoma - produces adrenaline, which speeds up the heart rate, leading to an increase in blood pressure. Additional symptoms are hot flashes, skin redness and increased sweating.

In both cases, the treatment consists of removing the adrenal glands.

Dysfunction of the thyroid gland

In secondary hypertension, risk factors can be some diseases of the thyroid gland: diffuse goiter, nodular goiter. They lead to thyrotoxicosis - increased production of thyroid hormones. These biologically active substances regulate the body's metabolism; when they are in excess, the heart rate increases, leading to an increase in blood pressure.

Medicine intake

In addition to diseases, secondary hypertension can be caused by the intake of various drugs and other substances. They include:

  • antidepressants;
  • drops and sprays for rhinitis;
  • anti-inflammatory drugs;
  • oral contraceptives;
  • corticosteroids;
  • narcotic substances - cocaine, amphetamines;
  • hematopoietic stimulant;
  • asthma medications;
  • Antihypertensive drugs - when stopped, can cause a sharp increase in blood pressure.

If hypertension is caused by drugs, you should consult a doctor and replace the drugs you are taking with analogues with fewer side effects.

Other risks of disease development

There are also otherrisk factors for hypertension. Unlike diseases and lifestyle choices, they cannot be eliminated or controlled.

One such factor is race. Research shows that arterial hypertension is more common and develops earlier in blacks than in whites, Hispanics, Asians, etc.

A person's gender also has an impact - men are at a higher risk of hypertension, especially in adulthood and old age. Women are at risk during menopause and during pregnancy. The risk increases with age in both sexes. If until the age of 29 the probability of developing the disease does not exceed 10%, then at the age of 60-69 it reaches 50%.

Most of the world's population is exposed to risk factors for hypertension at one point or another in their lives. In the US, according to research, 9 out of 10 people get sick sooner or later, and in most cases it is related to an unhealthy lifestyle. Breaking bad habits, seeing your doctor regularly, and monitoring your blood pressure are the best ways to stay safe.