High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a major risk factor for heart disease, stroke and kidney failure. Although it is sometimes due to known causes such as steroid medication or the contraceptive pill, there are also a number of life-style factors which contribute, such as:

• smoking
• obesity
• drinking a lot of alcohol – especially binge drinking
• lack of exercise
• poor diet

If someone else in your family has high blood pressure, you also have a higher risk of developing it.

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