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Hypertension/High Blood Pressure Health Center

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Causes of Secondary Hypertension

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In about 10% of people, high blood pressure is caused by another disease. If that is the case, it is called secondary hypertension. In such cases, when the root cause is treated, blood pressure usually returns to normal or is significantly lowered. These causes include the following conditions:

In the other 90% of cases, the cause of high blood pressure is not known (primary hypertension). Although the specific cause is unknown, certain factors are recognized as contributing to high blood pressure.

Recommended Related to Hypertension

5 Tips on Reducing Salt Intake

Cutting down on salt may help lower your blood pressure. And most Americans need to cut back, because they get more sodium than they should. The American Heart Association recommends getting less than 2,500 milligrams (mg) of sodium each day, unless you have high blood pressure or if you are at risk (if you already have hypertension, have diabetes or kidney disease or are African American). That's less than a teaspoon from all your meals and snacks. Start with these tips: Break the habit of...

Read the 5 Tips on Reducing Salt Intake article > >

Factors That Can't Be Changed

  • Age: The older you get, the greater the likelihood that you will develop high blood pressure, especially systolic, as your arteries get stiffer. This is largely due to arteriosclerosis, or "hardening of the arteries."
  • Race: African-Americans have high blood pressure more often than whites. They develop high blood pressure at a younger age and develop more severe complications sooner.
  • Family history (heredity): The tendency to have high blood pressure appears to run in families.
  • Gender: Generally men have a greater likelihood of developing high blood pressure than women. This likelihood varies according to age and among various ethnic groups.
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