Risk factors are things that make you more likely to have a disease or condition. Do you know your risk factors for high blood pressure? You can’t do anything about some risk factors. But other risk factors are things that can be changed. Know what high blood pressure risk factors you have. Then find out what changes you can make to help control your risk for high blood pressure. Start with the change that you think will be easiest for you.
Risk factors you can’t control
Though you can’t change any of the things listed below, check off the ones that apply to you. The more boxes you check, the greater your risk for high blood pressure.
☐ One or both of your parents or grandparents has had high blood pressure or heart disease.
Gender, age, and race
☐ You’re a man over age 55 or a postmenopausal woman. Or you are African American.
Risk factors you can control
There are plenty of risk factors for high blood pressure that you can control. Learn what these risk factors are and then find out how to reduce your risk. Check the ones that apply to you.
☐ What you eat
Do you eat a lot of salty, fatty, fried, or greasy foods? Do you go to restaurants or eat out frequently?
☐ What you drink
Do you have more than 1 alcoholic drink a day if you are a female or more than 2 drinks a day if you male?
☐ If you smoke or someone close to you smokes
Do you smoke cigarettes or cigars, chew tobacco, or dip snuff? Are you exposed to second-hand smoke on a regular basis?
☐ How active you are
Are you inactive most of the time at work and at home? Do you go weeks without exercising?
☐ Your weight
Has your doctor said that you are 15 or more pounds (6.8 kg or more) overweight?
☐ Your stress level
Do you often feel anxious, nervous, and stressed? Do you feel that you don't have a supportive environment?