Risk factors for primary hypertension

Risk factors for primary hypertension

  • Age
    • SBP rises progressively with increasing age, although DBP may decrease with age.
    • After age 50, SBP >140 mm Hg is a more important cardiovascular risk factor than DBP
  • Alcohol
    • Excessive alcohol intake is strongly associated with hypertension.
    • Moderate intake of alcohol has cardioprotective properties; males with hypertension should limit their daily intake of alcohol to 2 drinks per day, and 1 drink per day for females with hypertension.
  • Tobacco use
    • Smoking tobacco greatly increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
    • People with hypertension who smoke tobacco are at even greater risk for cardiovascular disease.
  • Diabetes mellitus
    • Hypertension is more common in patients with diabetes.
    • When hypertension and diabetes coexist, complications (e.g., target organ disease) are more severe.
  • Elevated serum lipids
    • Increased levels of cholesterol and triglycerides are primary risk factors in atherosclerosis.
    • Hyperlipidemia is more common in people with hypertension.
  • Excess dietary sodium
    • High sodium intake can
    • Contribute to hypertension in salt-sensitive patients.
    • Decrease the effectiveness of certain antihypertensive medications.
  • Gender
    • Hypertension is more prevalent in men in young adulthood and early middle age.
    • After age 64, hypertension is more prevalent in women.
  • Family history
    • History of a close blood relative (e.g., parents, sibling) with hypertension is associated with an increased risk for developing hypertension.
  • Obesity
    • Weight gain is associated with increased frequency of hypertension.
    • Risk increases with central abdominal obesity.
  • Ethnicity
    • Incidence of hypertension is 2 times higher in African Americans than in whites.
  • Sedentary lifestyle
    • Regular physical activity can help control weight and reduce cardiovascular risk.
    • Physical activity may decrease BP.
  • Socioeconomic status
    • Hypertension is more prevalent in lower socioeconomic groups and among the less educated.
  • Stress
    • People exposed to repeated stress may develop hypertension more frequently than others.
    • People who develop hypertension may respond differently to stress than those who do not develop hypertension.