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High blood pressure: Is it hereditary? Nine at risk groups of hypertension

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, affects more than one in four adults in the UK, but many won’t realise they have it.

Symptoms are rarely noticeable, but it’s important to have it checked to avoid serious complications.

The causes of high blood pressure are not certain, but there are several factors that can rise your risk of developing high blood pressure.

A common question to do with high blood pressure is, is it hereditary? According to the NHS, if hypertension runs in your family history it can put you at risk.

The health body lists nine high blood pressure risk factors:

  • A family history of high blood pressure
  • Age – the risk of developing high blood pressure increases as you get older
  • Being of African or Caribbean origin
  • A high amount of salt in your food
  • A lack of exercise
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Regularly drinking large amounts of alcohol
  • Smoking
  • Long-term sleep deprivation

So how can you prevent or treat hypertension?

Eating healthily, maintaining a healthy weight, drinking alcohol in moderation and not smoking can help prevent or reduce high blood pressure.

Different kinds of exercise can have different effects on the body, and there are certain activities you should avoid if you have high blood pressure.

If you have high blood pressure, you should try to focus on activities that will help your heart and blood vessels, according to Blood Pressure UK.


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