Causes of high blood pressure


causes of high blood pressre


High blood pressure or hypertension can be asymptomatic (without any symptoms) for years. Who has high blood pressure without any symptoms, will also suffer from cardiovascular damage due to hypertension. For the affected person, it will lead to critical and dangerous conditions.


What is blood pressure?

Factors affecting blood pressure

Blood pressure and heart health

Measuring blood pressure

Blood pressure classification

What are the symptoms of high blood pressure?

What are the complications and risks of high blood pressure?

What are the classification of high blood pressure?

What will cause high blood pressure?

Causes of high blood pressure based on age?

Who is most at risk for hypertension?


What is blood pressure?

The blood that comes out of the heart needs pressure to move inside the arteries. Blood pressure is the force that the heart creates to pump blood into the arteries and without it, blood will not flow inside our body. 


Factors affecting blood pressure:

Two factors play role in causing blood pressure:

  • The amount of blood pumped by the heart
  • The diameter of the vessel through which blood flows

The greater the amount of blood pumped by the heart, and the smaller the inside diameter of the vessels into which the blood enters, the higher the blood pressure will be.  


Blood pressure and heart health:

High blood pressure is a dangerous disease that causes changes in the walls of vessels. As the pressure rises over time, the inner walls of the vessels begin to become thicker and thicker. This process increases the amount of force that the heart should make to push the same amount of blood into vessels. In order to keep the blood pressure the same as before, heart will make much more force and this excess force will again make the blood vessels thicker. Ultimately this cycle will lead to heart failure.


Blood pressure measurement:

Systolic pressure:

This pressure is when the heart pumps blood.

Diastolic pressure:

It is related to the blood pressure during the resting time of the heart between contraction and beats. In other words, it is related to the time when blood enters the heart.


Blood pressure classification:

Classification of blood pressure (either systolic or diastolic) according to the American Heart Association is as follows:

For adults:

  • Normal range:
    • Systolic pressure: less than 120 mm hg
    • Diastolic pressure: less than 80 mm hg
  • Increased blood pressure range ( elevated blood pressure):
    • Systolic pressure: between 120 to 129 mm Hg
    • Diastolic pressure: less than 80 mm Hg
  • Hypertension (stage one):
    • Systolic pressure: between 130-139 mm Hg
    • Diastolic pressure: between 80-89 mm Hg
  • Hypertension (stage two):
    • Systolic pressure: 140 mm Hg and higher
    • Diastolic pressure: 90 mm Hg and higher


Critical range of blood pressure

These groups need immediate treatment:

  • Systolic pressure higher than 180 mm Hg
  • Diastolic pressure higher than 120 mm Hg



What are the symptoms of high blood pressure?

Unfortunately, most people with high blood pressure do not experience any signs or symptoms until their blood pressure reaches critical levels. Only a small number of people with high blood pressure develop the following symptoms:

These symptoms are not specific and can also be present in various other diseases.


What are the complications and risks of high blood pressure?


What are the classification of high blood pressure?

Primary hypertension:

When, after a thorough examination, the cause of the patient's high blood pressure is none of the secondary causes of hypertension, a diagnosis of primary hypertension will be made. Primary hypertension is the cause of ninety to ninety-five percent of hypertensive cases in adults. This type of hypertension is also called idiopathic hypertension. This means that there is no known cause for this type of high blood pressure.

Secondary hypertension:

About five to ten percent of adults with high blood pressure have this type of high blood pressure. The reasons that cause secondary hypertension are:

  • Kidney diseases and disorders:
    • Parenchymal diseases of kidney
    • Glomerulonephritis
    • Renal artery stenosis
    •  Kidney failure (acute and chronic)
  • Endocrine disorders:
    • Pheochromocytoma (adrenal gland tumor)
    • Primary aldosteronism (hormonal disorder)
    • Cushing's syndrome (increased cortisol)
    • Exposure and use of corticosteroids
    • Hyperthyroidism (increases systolic pressure)
    • Hypothyroidism (increases diastolic pressure)
    • Hyperparathyroidism
  • Pregnancy
  • Aortic coarctation (narrowing of part of the aortic wall)
  • Obstructive sleep apnea


What causes high blood pressure?

Consumption of the following can cause secondary hypertension:

  • Taking corticosteroids (oral or long-acting)
  • Oral contraceptives
  • Cocaine and cocaine derivatives
  • Licorice (licorice plant)


Drugs that are associated with high blood pressure:

  • Antifungals:
    • Ketoconazole
  • Anti-inflammatory:
    • NSAIDs: ibuprofen, naproxen, indomethacin, etc.
    • Specific cyclooxygenase two inhibitors: celecoxib
  • Chemotherapy drugs:
    • Epithelial growth factor inhibitors
  • Herbal medicines:
    • Ginseng
    • Licorice
    • Ephedra plant
  • Consumption of drugs:
    • Amphetamines
    • Cocaine and cocaine derivatives
  • Immunosuppressive drugs:
    • cyclosporine (Sandimmune)
    • Sirolimus (Rapamune)
    • Tacrolimus (Prograf)
  • Psychiatric drugs:
    • Buspirone (Buspar)
    • Carbamazepine (Tegretol)
    • clozapine (Clozaril)
    • Lithium
    • SSRIs (Fluoxetine, Paroxetine, etc.)
    • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (isocarboxazid, phenelzine, etc.)
    • Tricyclic antidepressants (nortriptyline, amitriptyline, etc.)
  • Sex hormones:
    • Androgens
    • (Contraceptives) Contraceptive pills
  • Steroids:
    • Methylprednisolone
    • Prednisolone
  • Sympathomimetic:
    • Decongestants used for colds
    • (Phenylephrine, pseudoephedrine, etc.)
    • Weight loss pills


Causes of secondary hypertension based on age?

Here are the most common causes of secondary hypertension based on age distribution:

Children (from birth to eleven years old):    

Seventy to eighty-five percent of children with high blood pressure in this age have secondary hypertension. The most common reasons are kidney diseases:

  • Glomerulonephritis (Inflammation of the glomerulus of the kidney)
  • Stenosis of part of the aorta wall (aortic coarctation)

Adolescents (twelve to fifteen years old):

Ten to fifteen percent of people with high blood pressure in this age have secondary hypertension. The most common reasons are:

  • Renal parenchymal diseases
  • Aortic coarctation

Youth (nineteen to thirty-nine years old):

Five percent of people with high blood pressure in this age have secondary type of hypertension, the most common reasons are:

Middle-aged adults (forty to sixty-two years old):

Eight to twelve percent of people with high blood pressure during this period have secondary hypertension. The most common causes are:

  • Hyperaldosteronism - Increased aldosterone secretion
  • Thyroid dysfunction
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Cushing's syndrome
  • Pheochromocytoma (Adrenal gland tumor)

Adults over the age of sixty-five:

Seventeen percent of people with high blood pressure at this age have  hypertension due to secondary hypertension. The most common of which are:

  • Vascular stiffness
  • Renal artery stenosis
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Kidney failure


Who is at risk the most for hypertension?

  • Smokers
  • Older people
  • People with a family history of hypertension
  • Stressful people
  • Overweight people
  • Have a salty daily diet
  • People consuming lots of alcoholic beverages
  • People with sedentary lifestyle




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