Blood pressure refers to measuring the force of blood that pushes against the walls of the blood vessels. This means that high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a dangerous condition since it prompts the heart to work harder when pumping blood to the body and can also become a contributory factor to various cardiovascular conditions.
While the exact cause of high blood pressure is not known, there are a number of conditions responsible for its development. However, in instances, where an underlying cause for the condition cannot be determined, high blood pressure is referred to as essential hypertension and where a direct cause for high blood pressure is established, the condition is known as secondary hypertension.
Some of the contributing factors for secondary hypertension can include the following.
For people who smoke and suffer from high blood pressure, the nicotine present in cigarette smoke is a major part of the problem. This is because the smoke inhaled raises the blood pressure and heart rate while narrowing the arteries and hardening the walls. This process also makes the blood more likely to clot.
As a result, the heart is forced to pump harder, making the organ stressed and setting up the individual up for a heart attack or stroke.