Blood pressure is the measure of the force of blood pushing against blood vessel walls. The heart pumps blood into the arteries (blood vessels), which carry the blood throughout the body. High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is dangerous because it makes the heart work harder to pump blood out to the body and contributes to hardening of the arteries, or atherosclerosis, to stroke, kidney disease, and to the development of heart failure.
The exact causes of high blood pressure are not known, but several factors and conditions may play a role in its development, including:
Smoking Being overweight or obese Lack of physical activity
Too much salt in the diet
Too much alcohol consumption (more than 1 to 2 drinks per day)
Family history of high blood pressure
Chronic kidney disease
Adrenal and thyroid disorders