By definition, the cause of essential hypertension is unknown but a number of factors are related to its development:
The role of heredity in the etiology of essential hypertension has long been suspected. The evidences in support are the familial aggregations, occurrence of hypertension in twins, epidemiologic data, experimental animal studies and identification of hypertension susceptibility gene.
Surveys in the United States have reveled higher incidence of essential hypertension in African Americans than in whites.
In both children and adults, greater body weight and increases in body weight correlate with higher blood pressure. Essential hypertension in children is frequently associated with obesity, which appears to be a contributory factor because even a modest reduction excess adiposity is associated with a reduction in blood pressure.
*Not being physically active
*Too much salt (sodium) in diet
*Too little potassium in diet
Sodium and potassium are the main extra- and intracellular ions. Interaction between the two as compared to sodium alone is associated with hypertension and increased cardiovascular risk.
Epidemiological studies have found that low birth weight infants are at a greater risk of developing hypertension, obesity, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes as adults.
Risk factors for essential hypertension