High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)

  • Medical Author:
    John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

    John P. Cunha, DO, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Cunha's educational background includes a BS in Biology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a DO from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, MO. He completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey.

  • Medical Editor: Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.

Quick GuideHigh Blood Pressure Symptoms, Causes, Treatments

High Blood Pressure Symptoms, Causes, Treatments

What causes high blood pressure?

The causes of hypertension are multifactorial, meaning there are several factors whose combined effects produce hypertension.

  • High salt intake or salt sensitivity: This occurs in certain populations such as the elderly, African Americans, people who are obese, or people with kidney (renal) problems.
  • Genetic predisposition to high blood pressure: People who have one or two parents with hypertension have high blood pressure incidence about twice as high as the general population.
  • A particular abnormality of the arteries, which results in an increased resistance (stiffness or lack of elasticity) in the tiny arteries (arterioles): This increased peripheral arteriolar stiffness develops in individuals who are also obese, do not exercise, have high salt intake, and are older.
Reviewed on 2/18/2014
References
REFERENCES:

"About High Blood Pressure." American Heart Association. 22 Jan. 2013.

"Physical Activity and Blood Pressure." American Heart Association. 11 Feb. 2014.

"Understanding Blood Pressure Readings." American Heart Association. 1 Mar. 2013.

"How Is High Blood Pressure Treated?" National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. 2 Aug. 2012.

"Your Guide to Lowering Your Blood Pressure With DASH." National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Apr. 2006.

Kaplan, N. M., et al. "Overview of hypertension in adults." UpToDate. 14 Jan. 2014.

Mann, J. F. E., et al. "Choice of therapy in primary (essential) hypertension: Recommendations." UpToDate. 7 Jan. 2014.

IMAGES:

1.iStock

2.iStock

3.Getty Images/Stockbyte

4.iStock

5.iStock

6.CDC

7.iStock

8.iStock

9.iStock

10.MedicineNet

11.iStock, Getty Images/Blend Images/

Subscribe to MedicineNet's Heart Health Newsletter

By clicking Submit, I agree to the MedicineNet's Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of MedicineNet's subscriptions at any time.

VIEW PATIENT COMMENTS
  • High Blood Pressure - Diet

    Have you changed your diet to try to bring down your high blood pressure?

    Post View 4 Comments
  • High Blood Pressure - Treatment

    Do you take medication to treat your high blood pressure?

    Post View 27 Comments
  • High Blood Pressure - Symptoms

    What symptoms do you have from your high blood pressure?

    Post View 41 Comments
  • High Blood Pressure - Readings

    Is your blood pressure reading high, low, or normal?

    Post View 14 Comments
  • High Blood Pressure - Causes

    Do you know if genetic factors, high salt intake, or arterial stiffness caused your high blood pressure?

    Post View 4 Comments

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors