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Know Your Risk for High Blood Pressure

Know Your Risk for High Blood Pressure

Your Health

Article courtesy of Measure Up/Pressure Down®

Your risk for high blood pressure can be affected by many factors. Your age, race and
genes are all things you can't control. But you can control high blood pressure. Start by being informed about your risk factors.

  • High blood pressure often shows no signs or symptoms. That's why it's important to know what your risks are and to learn which factors you can and can't control.
  • Some risk factors—like age, gender, race or ethnicity—may cause you to be more at risk for the disease than others.
  • Remember, having risk factors does not mean you are destined to have the disease. Some are in your control—like being active, eating healthy, not smoking, managing stress and other factors.

Risk Factors You Can't Control

Risk Factors You Can Control

Age: The older you get, the greater your risk for high blood pressure.

Overweight and obese

Gender: Until age 45, more men than women get high blood pressure. After age 65, more women than men get it.

Salt and sodium in diet

Race and ethnicity: Certain races and ethnicities—like African-Americans and Puerto Rican-Americans—have higher rates of high blood pressure.

Lack of potassium in diet

Physical inactivity

Tobacco use



Certain chronic conditions

Take Control

Calculate your risks with the high blood pressure health risk calculator from the American Heart Association. It will also show you how to control what you can.

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