About one in three adults in the United States have pre-hypertension, which means you are on the cusp of having high blood pressure.\nAfrican Americans develop high blood pressure more frequently than caucasians or Hispanics, with African American women developing the condition most often. This isn’t something to be brushed aside\u00a0— high blood pressure increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. Thankfully, there are ways to reduce your risk.\n\n \n\nAge\u00a0— For those younger than 45, high blood pressure affects more men than women. For those above 65, it affects women at a higher rate.\nFamily History \u2013 High blood pressure tends to run in families.\nSmoking \u2013 Smoking temporarily raises your blood pressure, but it also has a cumulative effect that damages your artery walls and causes them to narrow. Secondhand smoke can also have this effect.\nStress \u2013 Although temporary, stress can cause jumps in your blood pressure. Just don\u2019t rely on tobacco or cigarettes to relax.\nBeing Overweight \u2013 When overweight, the heart is forced to pump more blood through the system, which increases the pressure on your arteries.\nExcess sodium \u2013\u00a0A high-sodium diet causes the body to retain fluid, which increases blood pressure.\nToo much alcohol \u2013 Drinking too much can damage your heart. Make sure to only drink in moderation (up to 1 drink\/day for women and up to 2\/day for men).\nLack of physical activity \u2013\u00a0A sedentary lifestyle usually leads to an increased heart rate and higher blood pressure.\nMedication \u2013 Some medicines can change fluid and salt absorption in the body, which may cause your blood vessels to constrict\u00a0— leading to high blood pressure.\nMedical Conditions – Some medical conditions such as\u00a0chronic kidney disease or sleep apnea can increase blood pressure.