High Blood Pressure and Genetics

Is High Blood Pressure Hereditary?

There is growing evidence to support the speculation that high blood pressure is, in fact, hereditary. That might be good news for individuals who are concerned about their health but don’t recall any family members afflicted with high blood pressure. It can be unsettling news for individuals who have experienced a close family member or relative struggling to treat high blood pressure and its associated complications.

Are Identical Twins the Key?

The most reliable evidence indicating that a tendency towards high blood pressure is probably hereditary involves studies that evaluate the blood pressure of identical twins. The blood pressure of identical twins has been demonstrated in studies to be more similar than the blood pressure of fraternal twins. This suggests a genetic component.

Heredity Isn’t A Guarantee

If you do have a family history of high blood pressure, it doesn’t necessarily mean you will develop high blood pressure yourself and if your family doesn’t have a history of high blood pressure, you should still make every effort to control environmental factors in your life that can cause it. You should strive to maintain a healthy weight and make sure you get plenty of exercise. You should also pay attention to your diet and limit your intake of sodium and prepackaged or canned foods that contain high amounts of it.

More Research Means More Answers

Knowing how genes affect blood pressure can really help researchers with identifying ways to prevent and treat high blood pressure. When prevention is directed towards those who would benefit most, it is usually most effective. At present there are some puzzling areas that researchers don’t fully understand. Some medications to treat high blood pressure work more effectively in some individuals than others. Genetics may or may not play a role in this. That’s why it is important for individuals who suffer from high blood pressure to keep their doctors updated on their progress. If you are prescribed a high blood pressure medication and you aren’t experiencing lowered blood pressure, make sure you let your doctor know.

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