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High Blood Pressure: risk factors

The risk factors for high blood pressure are (Maryon-Davis and Press, 2005):


  • Age and gender (older age and being male increases the risk)
  • Ethnicity (being of Afro-Caribbean ethnic origin increases the risk)
  • Family history of high blood pressure


  • Excess dietary salt
  • Low dietary potassium
  • Overweight and obesity
  • Physical inactivity
  • Excess alcohol
  • Smoking
  • Cold homes
  • Socioeconomic status (deprivation may increase the risk)
  • Psychosocial stressors
  • Diabetes
  • Low birthweight
  • Being formula-fed as a baby
Page last updated: 12 September 2017

© Scottish Public Health Observatory 2014