If you know you have a family history of high blood pressure before the age of 60, you’re not alone. Those with a family history of high blood pressure do have a higher risk of having high blood pressure themselves, one of the primary risk factors for heart disease.
While it’s likely that some of the increased risk from a family history of high blood pressure is genetic, other factors such as a shared common environment might also be at play. It’s important to be aware of the potential causes beyond the obvious hereditary one.
Yet, with just a little heart health vigilance, you can still stave off early high blood pressure. Here are a few ways you can protect yourself despite a high blood pressure history.
Check Your Blood Pressure Annually
One of the best things you can do is to ensure you check your blood pressure at least annually. This only becomes more important as you get older given that most Americans will develop some form of high blood pressure in their lifetimes (9 of 10 adults).
Remember that you can confirm you have a family history of high blood pressure if your family member had high blood pressure prior to the age of 60. This means thinking about the ramifications of high blood pressure sooner than later.
List Out Family Members With High Blood Pressure or Heart Disease
As you determine the full scope of your risk, it’s a good exercise to list out the family members that showed high blood pressure prior to 60, suffered from heart disease, or had a stroke. If you can list the age of the family member when they contracted the diseases or suffered from a stroke, all the better.
By having this information available, you will have a better sense of when you might be most at risk and when to time your scan if you choose to schedule one. You can share this information with a specialist to provide more context into your health and risk factors.
Identify and Isolate Environmental Factors
Among the family that had high blood pressure, heart disease, or stroke (from the previous section), it’s also important to note and isolate any common environmental factors. For instance, you might list if your family member - or many of them - had a smoking habit or a certain diet that might’ve been poor for adequate heart health.
If you can find commonalities or specific risk factors, you might be able to control your environment in order to drastically reduce your chances of contracting heart disease or suffering from high blood pressure before the age of 60.
Consider a Scan
If you’re concerned about your heart health or you know the optimal time to check on your overall heart health, a heart scan can give you the confirmation of your status. This not only can bring peace of mind if you have a family history of high blood pressure, but it can help you set a plan for better heart health if any abnormalities do appear.
Schedule a Scan
Advanced Body Scan of Tulsa offers a variety of scans for the heart, lungs, and colon, among others. All scans are minimally invasive and take only a few minutes to complete, but can be crucial to detecting early signs of disease and working towards healthy outcomes. To schedule or ask about a scan, visit our website or call us at 918.879.6161.