Causes of High Blood Pressure

Causes of High Blood Pressure

It is not possible to establish ideal pressure values, i.e., the same for the whole population. In fact, the pressure can undergo variations in sex, age, body weight, and ethnicity. And the device used, the time of day, the psychophysical state, and general health in which it is measured. In this article, we will give you a complete guide about the causes of high blood pressure.

Considering these possible conditions of variability in adulthood. It is considered ideal a pressure between 115-130 mmHg in the maximum values ​​(systolic pressure). And between 75-85 mmHg in the minimum values ​​(diastolic pressure). Therefore, values ​​exceeding these thresholds will determine a condition that is still normal. But deserving of attention and periodic measurements (normal-high values ​​according to current guidelines). We can speak of hypertension instead when the maximum pressure is above 140 mmHg and the minimum at 90 mmHg: values ​​that allow us to define a person as hypertensive. Blood pressure then becomes at risk as the parameters rise further. The pulsations of the heart are combined with the peripheral resistances that determine the pressure: in normal conditions, the heart muscle exerts a sufficient thrust to make the blood flow throughout the body, which, however, in case of hypertension, must be much higher than normal needs. Of the organism.


The diagnosis of hypertension is based on blood pressure measurement, performed by the doctor with a mercury sphygmomanometer, a special (professional) device designed by the Italian Riva-Rocci just over a century ago. It consists of a rubber bracelet connected on one side to a small hand pump and on the other to a mercury column manometer. However, automatic devices allow self-measurement.

Causes of high blood pressure

Only in 5% of cases hypertension is related to pre-existing clinical conditions such as particular kidney diseases, hormonal disorders, congenital pathologies, atherosclerosis, or the use of substances with hypertensive action (drugs, alcohol, licorice). In the remaining 95% of cases, however, there is no single ascertainable cause. However, there are conditions or risk factors that can predispose to hypertension development: age, cigarette smoking, excess body weight, sedentary lifestyle, hypercholesterolemia (high levels of fat in the blood), diabetes, stress, and family history.

Causes of high blood pressure: Symptoms

Causes of high blood pressure generally do not have definite and recognizable symptoms. However, palpitations, headaches, dizziness, nervousness, tiredness, ringing in the ears, or nasal nosebleeds may occur. In particular, these symptoms occur when the blood pressure registers a sharp rise (hypertensive crisis). However, the single measurement, which can be carried out in a pharmacy or at home, is not indicative. To have a certain diagnosis, you must contact your family doctor.

When the doctor evaluates a patient with a suspicion of hypertension. He may resort to further tests to highlight the presence of risk factors (such as high cholesterol or diabetes ). Other diseases that cause secondary hypertension or damage to other organs. The most commonly prescribed tests include blood pressure Holter or outpatient monitoring or, Doppler ultrasound, electrocardiography, kidney function tests, fundus examination. Home blood pressure measurement is instrumental, especially for those with a history of hypertension in the family. If measured correctly and consistently, it allows you to keep the values ​​under control and promptly diagnose the disease. Furthermore, home measurements tend to be more regular than those obtained in a medical setting. Whose values ​​tend to be higher due to “white coat” anxiety.

Most of the instruments on the market today measure blood pressure values ​​automatically. The best times to measure are when you wake up or in the evening. With a classic sphygmomanometer, which also requires a stethoscope, some additional measures are necessary. That corresponds to the beat’s disappearance, with the stethoscope resting on the arm’s inside in correspondence with the brachial artery. Therefore, it will be necessary to slowly release (approximately 2 mmHg per second) the cuff’s air. During this procedure, you will clearly hear a first “noise” when the blood begins to flow back into the artery.

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Therapy: Causes of High Blood Pressure

If diagnosed early or mild, high blood pressure can initially be treated without drugs. And by correcting only some habits related to lifestyle: such as diet. In addition to being healthy and balanced, it must also provide for the reduction of consumption of salt and coffee, the abolition of smoking, the reduction or elimination of alcohol, and the practice of regular aerobic physical activity (walking, swimming, cycling). Where necessary, or in case of moderate or severe hypertension, the correction of dietary and lifestyle habits should also be associated with drug therapy. This, on medical prescription, may include the use of diuretics, beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors, calcium channel blockers, angiotensin II receptor antagonists that can be used alone or in combination, modulating the treatment modalities from case to case.

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Causes of high blood pressure: Prevention

High blood pressure can be generated by the combined effect of hereditary genetic factors (children of hypertension are more likely to develop hypertension than normotensive people) and environmental factors, such as stress, excessive salt intake, and ‘obesity. To date, some forms of arterial hypertension have been identified on a genetic basis. Whose low prevalence in the population, however, does not justify extensive genetic screening. In most cases, as has been clarified, arterial hypertension is instead due to incorrect lifestyle habits. From an early age, it is, therefore, advisable to maintain blood pressure at desirable levels. And follow some simple behaviors that can be summarized in ten golden rules:

  • Lose the extra pounds. Blood pressure often increases with weight. Therefore maintaining a state of good physical shape, or where necessary to lose weight, also means making the drugs against hypertension more effective if a specific treatment is in progress. The indication is to keep the waistline under control: for men, it should not exceed 100 cm and for women, 85 cm. Beyond these limits, there is a higher risk of hypertension.

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  • It can be quantified in a time between half an hour and an hour a day for several days a week, with activities. That can vary from walking to climbing stairs, some exercise with weights, and a bike ride. Furthermore, physical activity plays a preventive function in case of a tendency to high blood pressure, removing the risk of it becoming a condition of real hypertension.

Age and hypertension

Age and hypertension are interrelated, but their relationship varies according to whether we consider young people, adults, and the elderly, as we will see in the next chapters. Hypertension in the past and hypertension in the present. In the past, doctors described hypertension as a disease strongly linked to aging. To confirm this, there was the method of calculating the ideal maximum pressure in use at that time, which provided for the addition to 100 of the patient’s age expressed in years (e.g., the ideal maximum pressure for a 30-year-old individual is calculated through the operation 100 + 30 = 130).

Today, after years of in-depth study, knowledge about hypertension has improved, and doctors have concluded. That the consequential relationship between older age- hypertension is no longer as exclusive as previously believed. In fact, if a slight increase in blood pressure (10-20 mmHg) is all in all acceptable and justifiable due to the natural changes induced by aging. The same cannot be said for greater increases, on which additional factors seem to affect.

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It is also necessary to underline the fairly recent discovery of the not exactly negligible spread of hypertension among the young and the very young of the most industrialized countries, a spread which, among the most pessimistic, raises fears of future epidemics of high blood pressure among adults.

Hypertension and childhood: Causes of High Blood Pressure

At birth, humans have a blood pressure of about 70/40 mmHg; with the years’ growth and passing, this pressure tends to increase progressively. Until it reaches the considered normal value around the eighteenth year of age of 120/80 mmHg. However, it is a growing phenomenon, hypertension in children and young people. In general, it is less and less frequent than in the adult and elderly population. Unlike what happens for older age groups, arterial hypertension in young people is more often secondary (i.e., linked to a specific disease or condition) rather than essential (i.e., dependent on a multiplicity of factors and not by a specific condition).

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However, it should be noted that, in recent decades, the phenomenon of juvenile essential hypertension has been increasing. And precisely for this reason, it is acquiring ever greater interest. According to the experts – who are based on reliable studies – to motivate. This increase in essential juvenile hypertension would be the increasing diffusion. Among the youngest, of two problems with dramatic consequences, especially in the long term. We are talking about overweight and ‘ juvenile obesity. From what has been highlighted by numerous researches, overweight and obesity in younger subjects are dangerous combinations of incorrect nutrition and lack of physical activity.

Faced with the increasing number of obese and overweight children, experts fear. For the next 15-20 years, a real epidemic of cardiovascular diseases (hypertension is one of the main risk factors). Indeed, with statistics in hand, fat children have a higher probability of becoming hypertensive (and obese) in post-adolescent age than their normal-weight peers.

How to intervene

To protect today’s young people (and tomorrow’s adults) from hypertension, doctors recommend. That families constantly discuss with their trusted pediatrician, evaluate their child’s eating habits with the latter, and, finally, ask ( always to the pediatrician, of course) the key points of proper nutrition at a young age.

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Furthermore, we must not neglect the vital role of physical activity, which undoubtedly represents the best way to take care of the physical and mental health of young people:

  • Physics, due to the already widely discussed risk of developing hypertension and obesity in adulthood ;
  • Psychic, because overweight and obesity in young people also have important psychological repercussions, especially in today’s society, which tends to value more and more “Serie A-bodies” and to deride those who are “big-sized.”

Hypertension and adulthood

In adulthood, if the lifestyle is characterized by good health. Blood pressure tends to remain equal to the value reached about the 18th year of life. Unfortunately, however, it is a fact that many adults struggle to control certain bad behaviors (e.g., cigarette smoking, sedentary lifestyle, too much salt in the diet, etc.). Thanks to many reasons, including work stress, little time to cook or practice physical activity, etc. And are victims of more or less marked increases in blood pressure.

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In adult men, these increases in blood pressure mainly affect people aged 35-40; in adult women, on the other hand, they mainly affect people over the age of 45-50. That is, after that typical event of the female sex called menopause. Any pressure increase affects both the maximum and minimum pressure. Regardless of gender, the increase in blood pressure in adulthood involves – as mentioned – an increase in cardiovascular risk increase. Which is higher, the more marked the aforementioned increase in arterial pressure.


Men aged 35-40 are at greater risk of hypertension and cardiovascular disease than women of the same age. Because the latter – except in particular circumstances – enjoy the protective action exerted by estrogen against pathological increases in blood pressure. In other words, women of childbearing age are less at risk of hypertension. And associated complications than men of their age because they can rely on estrogen, which protects against high blood pressure.

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In light of this, the reason why menopause causes high blood pressure and increased risk of hypertension is easily explained and, for readers with more knowledge on the subject, easily understood: among the hormonal upheavals. That the physiological event of menopause produces, c ‘is also the drastic drop in estrogen production. Resulting in a series of ripple effects, including reduced protection from pathological increases in blood pressure.

Hypertension and old age: Causes of High Blood Pressure

After 60, i.e., with the entry into the so-called third age or old age. The blood pressure values ​​undergo a physiological increase, especially regarding the maximum or systolic pressure. According to doctors and experts, this phenomenon is probably. Due to the inevitable increase in the arterial vessels’ stiffness that results from the aging processes of the human organism.

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Based on the latest studies, doctors believe that maintaining normal blood pressure in adulthood. And at a young age is one of the best ways to protect yourself from exaggerated hypertension in old age.

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