6 Surprising High Blood Pressure Triggers

High blood pressure, also called hypertension, plagues three out of four Americans over the age of 60.

Heart disease, sexual dysfunction, stroke, kidney failure and aneurysms can all be caused by elevated blood pressure.

Sleep apnea. According to AARP, this sleep disorder, in which a person’s breathing is interrupted throughout the night, can raise blood pressure.

Air pollution. One study led by researchers at the University of Michigan concluded that even short-term exposure to air pollution can boost blood pressure in healthy adults.

Black licorice. Real black licorice contains a compound called glycyrrhizin, which causes the body to hold on to lots of salt and water, which drive blood pressure skyward.

Alcohol. While a little wine may be heart-healthy, Lloyd-Jones says that both short-term and long-term drinking can raise blood pressure.

Medications. Over-the-counter painkillers may not only increase your risk for heart attack and stroke, drugs like ibuprofen.

Added sugar. Our bodies release insulin when we eat food to help clear the resulting glucose from the blood to get into the cells where it can be used for energy

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