High blood pressure runs in the family

The odds of developing hypertension can increase because of many factors from advancing age to obesity to smoking. Now, your parents' medical history may be another important influence.

Doctors tracked blood pressure for 54 years in more than 1,000 male medical students. Having one parent with high blood pressure increased the men's odd of hypertension by 50 to 80 percent.

The greatest risk was in sons whose parents developed hypertension at a young age, less than 55. For these men, the odds of high blood pressure increased by 600 percent.

Details of the study are in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine.

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