5 Factors Increasing the Risk of High Blood Pressure That Can Be Changed and Prevented

Do not overlook high blood pressure as it dramatically heightens the risk of heart disease. Incorporate essential lifestyle adjustments into your routine.

5 Factors Increasing the Risk of High Blood Pressure That Can Be Changed and Prevented

High blood pressure, or hypertension, stands as one of the primary risk factors for heart diseases. It arises when the pressure of blood in your arteries and other vessels becomes too high, resulting in damage. Left untreated, hypertension not only impacts your heart but can also lead to complications for your kidneys and brain.

Numerous factors contribute to an increased risk of high blood pressure, categorized as modifiable and non-modifiable. While modifiable factors can be addressed through necessary measures, such as lifestyle changes, non-modifiable factors like age and family history cannot be altered. Nonetheless, steps can be taken to mitigate risk by addressing controllable factors. In this article, we will delve into five such modifiable risk factors within your control. Dr. Chandrashekhar, Associate Director-Cardiology at Max Super Speciality Hospital, Shalimar Bagh, provides valuable insights.

What constitutes high blood pressure

What constitutes high blood pressure

Blood pressure, measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg), consists of two components: systolic pressure, the higher number reflecting arterial pressure when the heart contracts, and diastolic pressure, the lower number indicating arterial pressure when the heart is at rest between beats.

As per the American Heart Association (AHA), normal blood pressure is defined as systolic pressure below 120 mmHg and diastolic pressure below 80 mmHg. High blood pressure is identified when the systolic pressure is 130 mmHg or higher and/or the diastolic pressure is 80 mmHg or higher.

Factors That Can Be Changed to Reduce the Risk of High Blood Pressure

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that approximately 100.28 billion adults aged 30–79 worldwide have hypertension, with 46% of them unaware of their condition. Shockingly, only 1 in 5 adults with hypertension manage to keep it under control.

Dr. Chandrashekhar emphasizes the importance of preventing hypertension due to its significant role in reducing the risk of serious health complications such as heart disease.

He adds, “By maintaining healthy blood pressure levels through lifestyle modifications and medical interventions, individuals can protect their overall well-being and improve their quality of life.”

With that in mind, here are the modifiable risk factors associated with high blood pressure that can be prevented:

Unhealthy diet

Unhealthy diet

To mitigate the risk of high blood pressure, it’s advisable to steer clear of excessive consumption of salt, saturated fats, and cholesterol, as they are known contributors to elevated blood pressure levels. Instead, individuals should aim to incorporate ample fruits, vegetables, and whole grains into their diet.

Excessive weight and lack of exercise

Regular physical activity is essential for reducing the risk of developing hypertension. Therefore, maintaining a consistent exercise routine and staying active is crucial.

Heavy drinking

Consuming alcohol excessively can elevate blood pressure levels. It’s crucial to adhere to recommended limits when drinking alcohol.

Heavy drinking

Tobacco use

Smoking and tobacco usage can harm blood vessels and elevate the likelihood of developing hypertension.


Persistent stress and an inability to cope with it can lead to hypertension gradually.


It’s important to note that blood pressure readings can vary, so a single high reading doesn’t necessarily indicate hypertension. Multiple readings taken at different times are needed for an accurate assessment. If consistently elevated, it’s crucial to consult a healthcare professional for guidance. Focus on preventive measures, especially those within your control, to mitigate the risk of developing hypertension.