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Risk factors of hypertension include age, family history and genetics, unhealthy lifestyle habits, race or ethnicity, and gender. Risk of hypertension typically increases with age (National Institutes of Health, 2018). This is due to blood vessels naturally thickening and stiffening over time. Individuals with a family history of hypertension have a higher risk of developing high blood pressure. Also, some families are sensitive to sodium, which can increase the risk of developing hypertension. Unhealthy lifestyle habits that can increase the risk of hypertension include alcohol abuse, lack of physical exercise, and unhealthy eating patterns (National
HYPERTENSION 3Institutes of Health, 2018). Typically hypertension is more prevalent in African American adults than in white, Hispanic, or Asian adults (National Institutes of Health, 2018). When compared with other racial or ethnic groups, African Americans typically have higher average blood pressure numbers and develop high blood pressure earlier in life. Prior to age 55, men are more likely than women to develop high blood pressure. In contrast, women are more likely than men to develop high blood pressure after age 55 (National Institutes of Health, 2018). Blood pressure readings should be conducted regularly. Undiagnosed or uncontrolled hypertension can lead to the following issues: aneurysms, chronic kidney disease, eye damage, heart attack, heart failure, peripheral artery disease, stroke, vascular dementia (National Institutesof Health, 2018). Diagnosis of hypertension may be made based on medical history, blood pressure reading data, and normative blood pressure data. Hypertension is diagnosed when consistent readings of 140 mm Hg or higher or diastolic readings of 90 mm Hg or higher (National Institutes of Health, 2018). Differential diagnoses for hypertension are malignant