High Blood Pressure The Genetic Link

high blood pressure the genetic linkThe fact is that genetic factors play a large role in your susceptibility to developing high blood pressure later in life. So if you have high blood pressure the genetic link may well be a factor.

Take for instance my own case. Both my parents were dogged by high blood pressure despite living a relatively healthy lifestyle. Now I struggle with high blood pressure as I age. Surely there is a large genetic factor in that equation.

On the other hand, some people seem genetically immune to high blood pressure. A former girlfriend of mine is one such example.

She used to drink alcohol and smoke tobacco with enthusiasm. She was adverse to exercise and her diet was far from exemplary. On top of that she was often and easily stressed.

Being in her mid-forties, reason would suggest she was a likely candidate for high blood pressure. But oddly enough, she was more concerned about developing too low a blood pressure. Her systolic pressure was often below 100.

The only explanation I can offer for this phenomenon is that she was simply genetically programmed to have low pressure – and no amount of substance abuse, bad diet, or lack of exercise seemed to alter this fact.

Simply put, some of us are genetically programed to be susceptible to high blood pressure. Some of us are not.

Note I wrote ‘susceptible’, not determined.


High blood pressure the genetic link – what to do?

five causes of high blood pressure and what to do about themHaving high blood pressure in your family doesn’t mean you have to suffer it too. But it does mean that you will have work a little harder at keeping your blood pressure withing healthy limits.

That certainly applies to me and perhaps to you too. If I lived the lifestyle of my former girlfriend mentioned above my blood pressure would have gone through the ceiling and my cardio-vascular health levels would be seriously compromised.

Today I enjoy blood pressure readings that often fall below the 120/80 benchmark – but it’s not because I’m lucky, or am genetically programmed for low blood pressure, or because I take medication daily.

I am genetically susceptible to high blood pressure but I keep it down through exercise, diet and avoiding high levels of stress.

For example:

I’m currently staying on my yacht in Saint Martin in the West Indies. There are many sailing boats here from all over North America and Europe. Almost without exception everyone gets ashore on their dinghies powered by outboard motors.

I row. It’s not that far and it’s great exercise.

I start everyday with a bowl of oatmeal and a banana along with some dietary supplements such as multi-vitamins, calcium and magnesium. It helps keep my body happy and my blood pressure down.

I’ll often do stress-relieving exercises, like 15 minutes of slow breathing in the evening before bed ensuring a good sleep.

Combined and practiced daily this approach keeps my blood pressure healthy and safe – despite my genetic propensity to be hypertensive.

In short, there is a healthy option to hypertension medications and their sometimes not so pleasant side effects. The high blood pressure genetic link is not a life sentence to endless medications or endless hypertension.

If I can do it – anyone can :-).


UPDATE: I’ve now written a book about how to lower your blood pressure naturally. It’s based on my own experience and experiments – and also an awful lot of research by my partner.

Click here to find out more about it.

Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally – The Complete 9 Step Guide

high blood pressure - the genetic linkThe guide also comes with a set of audio tracks for practicing slow breathing. When lowering your blood pressure naturally, it’s good to take a broad approach so changing your diet, making sure you’re active, and keeping calm are all important.

You can find out plenty about all of these in my book. But don’t worry about being overwhelmed by information – the book is organized into 9 simple steps which are easy to follow, and which you can go through at your own pace.

Hope this helps. Remember, even if you have high blood pressure the genetic link doesn’t mean you are stuck with it!

P.S. I’m no longer living on my boat but in my house in Wales, though I’m continuing to do everything I mentioned above – and my blood pressure is still in a healthy range. Yours can be too 🙂

P.P.S. I just wrote an article on the latest research into the genetics of high blood pressure here if you’re interested: Is high blood pressure hereditary?




  • Eman

    I enjoyed reading this. I’m 22 and I exercise and eat healthily daily, yet, I’m still getting readings of 135/95. However, I do stress at times. I’m most concerned about taking medications when I’m older and my metabolism is worse. It’s good to know though that some people like yourself are able to keep your BP below 120/80 with such simple methods. Thanks for writing this!

  • Lynda Jessop

    I am so weary of my High Blood Pressure defining my life! I am on two different BP meds which of course have accompanying side effects. My BP is sometimes so hideously high (170/106) that I am constantly stressed that I am going to just have a stroke any minute! I can’t even relax and fall asleep at night because I am so afraid. Several family members have died of strokes due to hypertension. I HATE living under this constant fear! The RX doesn’t lower my BP enough to be at a safe level. I have tried many different ones. No luck, it seems. I would LOVE to find a better way…..

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    I really like reading an article that will make people think.
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