Causes of High Blood Pressure
There are numerous causes of high blood pressure. Basically, anything that increases the force of blood coming out of the heart and decreases the amount of space in the vascular system to accommodate that force increases overall blood pressure.
High blood pressure is almost universally caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Environmental factors are the most modifiable causes of high blood pressure; they include inactivity, stress, obesity, tobacco use, salt intake, and alcohol intake.1 This type of increased blood pressure is called “Essential Hypertension” and is basically elevated blood pressure without a specifically identifiable cause. (For information of lifestyle modifications to mitigate hypertension, see Blood Pressure Lifestyle Modifications.)
Conversely, elevated blood pressure from an identifiable cause is called “Secondary Hypertension.” Possible causes of secondary hypertension include medications, illicit drugs, hormone imbalances, and various kidney diseases among many others.