Any factor that increases pressure against the artery walls can lead to prehypertension. Atherosclerosis, which is the buildup of fatty deposits in your arteries, can lead to high blood pressure. Sometimes an underlying condition causes blood pressure to rise. Possible conditions that can lead to prehypertension or high blood pressure include:
- Sleep apnea
- Kidney disease
- Adrenal disease
- Thyroid disease
Certain medications — including birth control pills, cold remedies, decongestants, over-the-counter pain relievers and some prescription drugs — also may cause blood pressure to temporarily rise. Illegal drugs, such as cocaine and amphetamines, can have the same effect.
Often, however, high blood pressure develops gradually over many years without a specific identifiable cause.
Oct. 10, 2012
- What are high blood pressure and prehypertension? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/hbp/hbp/whathbp.htm. Accessed Aug. 8, 2012.
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- Hernandez J, et al. Prehypertension: A literature-documented public health problem. Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. 2012;24:3.
- Thompson AM, et al. Antihypertensive treatment and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease events among persons without hypertension. Journal of the American Medical Association. 2011;305:913.
- Karanja N, et al. Acceptability of sodium-reduced research diets, including the dietary approaches to stop hypertension diet, among adults with prehypertension and stage 1 hypertension. Journal of the American Dietetic Association. 2007;107:1530.
- Maruthur NM, et al. Lifestyle interventions reduce coronary heart disease risk: Results from the PREMIER trial. Circulation. 2009;119:2026.
- Pimenta E, et al. Prehypertension: Epidemiology, consequences and treatment. Nature Review Nephrology. 2010;6:21.
- Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/DGAs2010-PolicyDocument.htm. Accessed Aug.. 22, 2011.
- Rethinking drinking: Alcohol and your health. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/RethinkingDrinking/Rethinking_Drinking.pdf. Accessed Aug. 22, 2012.
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