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What is primary high blood pressure?

Primary hypertension is a type of high blood pressure (generally considered to be >120/80) that is not due to a specific disease. Primary hypertension has two primary causes:
  • Genetic history - This includes a family history of high blood pressure, and also race. Hypertension occurs more frequently in the African-American population. 
  • Lifestyle choices - These include factors such as being overweight, consuming lots of salty foods, consuming excess alcohol, smoking, and leading a sedentary lifestyle. 
Of course, we are not able to change our genetics. But the good news is that, with specific healthy changes in lifestyle, it is possible to see a significant reduction in blood pressure readings.

High blood pressure (hypertension) occurs when your heart pumps blood at a rate that puts unusually high levels of pressure on your arteries. It can be caused by several factors but if the cause is unknown then it is referred to as primary high blood pressure, or primary hypertension. Primary high blood pressure can be deadly, leading to several health complications including heart attacks and strokes. Typically, it doesn't cause any symptoms which means it's important to have your blood pressure checked by your doctor at least a couple times a year. If you are diagnosed with primary high blood pressure there are several steps you can take to lower it.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.