Hypertension: Causes


Blood pressure tends to rise with age, so people become more at risk for hypertension, or high blood pressure, as they get older. Certain medical problems, such as chronic kidney disease, thyroid disease, and sleep apnea, may cause blood pressure to rise. Certain medicines, such as asthma medicines (for example, corticosteroids) and cold-relief products, may also raise blood pressure.

In some women, blood pressure can go up if they use birth control pills, become pregnant, or take hormone replacement therapy. If you already have hypertension and want to use birth control pills, make sure your doctor knows about your hypertension.

Taking hormones to reduce the symptoms of menopause also cause a small rise in systolic blood pressure. If you already have hypertension and want to start using hormones, talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits. If you decide to take hormones, find out how to control your blood pressure and how often you should have it checked.

Children younger than 10 years who have hypertension often have another condition that's causing it (such as kidney disease). Treating the underlying condition may resolve the hypertension. The older a child is when hypertension is diagnosed, the more likely he or she is to have essential hypertension. This means that doctors don't know what's causing it.

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