Do you have a family history of hypertension? Read this guide to learn all about familial hypertension and check how to prevent yourself from getting affected.
- Although the exact origin of familial hypertension is unknown, research suggests that it is caused by a mix of genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors.
- It is believed that up to 30% of patients with high blood pressure have familial hypertension, while less than 5% have essential hypertension.
- Maintaining normal blood pressure can be achieved with regular physical activity and a nutritious diet, avoiding cigarette and alcohol usage, and lowering stress levels.
If you’re like most people, you may have heard talk about high blood pressure (hypertension) and assumed it’s a condition that only affects those who are older or inactive. But that isn’t always true.
High blood pressure can be a genetic condition affecting people who are otherwise fit and healthy. A parent with high blood pressure can pass along a gene to a child, raising that person’s risk of developing hypertension one day.
However, you can reduce your overall risk of developing hypertension with a few dietary and lifestyle changes. Keep reading this article to learn about familial hypertension and how you can prevent your risk of hypertension.
What Is Hypertension Or High Blood Pressure?
High blood pressure can be defined as a systolic pressure (the top number) greater than 130 mm Hg or a diastolic pressure (the bottom number) greater than 80 mm Hg.
If you have hypertension, your doctor will likely recommend lifestyle changes or medications to lower your blood pressure. Elevated blood pressure is usually treated with medications, but uncontrolled high blood pressure can be a serious concern.
Few Symptoms Of Hypertension
Although hypertension affects everyone differently, there are some signs and symptoms that may indicate you have it:
- Headaches due to tightness in your neck or head.
- Your heart might race or feel like it’s trying too hard.
- Fatigue or difficulty sleeping.
- You might need to take more than standard doses of medication to control your blood pressure.
According to the American Heart Association, people who have elevated blood pressure should aim to maintain their normal blood pressure levels. With regular physical activity and a healthy diet, avoiding tobacco and alcohol consumption, and limiting stress levels can help in maintaining normal blood pressure.
If you’re concerned about your blood pressure, talk to your doctor. They can run some tests to determine if you have hypertension and prescribe treatment if necessary.
What Can Cause Familial Hypertension?
Familial hypertension is a form of hypertension that runs in families. This means that you may have a parent or sibling with high BP even if you don’t have the condition yourself.
It’s estimated that up to 30 per cent of people with elevated BP have familial hypertension compared to less than 5 per cent who have essential hypertension (high BP due to resistance or narrowing of the artery walls).
Although the cause of familial hypertension is still not fully understood, research suggests that it is due to a combination of genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors. Unlike certain disorders that are caused by only one or a few genes, familial hypertension can be caused by mutations in hundreds of distinct genes.
However, with the help of medications and lifestyle changes, many people with familial hypertension are able to manage the condition effectively.
What To Do If You Have A Family History Of Hypertension?
Just in case you have a family history of hypertension, you should understand the risk factors for the condition and take steps to reduce them. A few things to do are maintaining a healthy weight, eating a nutritious diet, quitting smoking, and drinking less alcohol.
According to a recent study, living a healthy lifestyle is associated with reduced blood pressure independent of underlying genetic risk.
In addition to these actions, your doctor may recommend regular blood pressure monitoring to identify and address any changes over time. This can help identify early signs of hypertension and make sure it is treated before it becomes an issue.
Reduce your risk by incorporating these habits into your everyday life and make a significant difference in your health.
What Puts You At Greater Risk Of Hypertension – Genetics Or Lifestyle?
When it comes to hypertension, genetics play a role, but lifestyle choices also contribute. It was found that between 20 and 55 per cent of hypertension cases are due to genetic factors. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t lower your risk of high blood pressure by adopting a heart-healthy lifestyle.
A 2017 study found that individuals who had a healthy lifestyle consisting of regular aerobic exercise, no smoking, and a low-sodium diet were at a much lower risk for developing high blood pressure than those who did not have these habits.
This means that even if you inherited genes that increase your risk for hypertension, you could still lower your chances of developing the condition by making healthy choices every day.
How Can You Treat Hypertension?
When it comes to hypertension, there are a variety of different treatments that can be used. Some lifestyle changes, such as eating a healthy diet and reducing salt intake, may be enough on their own.
Medications may also be prescribed for those who experience high blood pressure levels. However, it is essential to speak with a doctor about which type of medication would be best for an individual’s specific situation.
According to experts, there is a link between a family history of hypertension and the condition occurring. However, many factors contribute to the risk, including lifestyle. Making healthy lifestyle choices can help reduce the risk of developing hypertension.
If lifestyle changes are not enough and medication is needed, remember that taking medications in an effective manner is important. Some patients may even find it helpful to connect with a support group or therapist to manage their hypertension significantly.
You can consult a doctor or healthcare professional as they can assess your hypertension situation better and prescribe suitable medications.
Sherrell, Zia “Is hypertension genetic?” Published on May 29, 2022 https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/is-hypertension-genetic
Ronald, James “Is High Blood Pressure Genetic? Understanding Familial Hypertension” on April 18, 2022 https://www.healthline.com/health/high-blood-pressure-hypertension/familial-hypertension