Is High Blood Pressure Genetic?Explore High Blood Pressure and what your DNA can tell you

What is high blood pressure?

High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is when the blood puts too much pressure on the walls of the blood vessels. By putting stress on the blood vessels and heart, high blood pressure can increase the risk for heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease. 

Is high blood pressure genetic? 

Genetics can play a role in high blood pressure. This means some people may be more likely to develop high blood pressure based on their genetics. Family history can also play a role—people with a family history of high blood pressure are more likely to develop the condition themselves, especially if one or both parents had high blood pressure before the age of 55. 

Find out how genetic testing for high blood pressure works.

Icons labeled heart disease, stroke and kidney disease. 

Other factors that may cause an increased likelihood of high blood pressure 

Besides genetics, there are other factors that can impact your chances of developing high blood pressure. 

Lifestyle factors can play a role: maintaining a healthy weight, eating a low-sodium heart-healthy diet, exercising regularly, and not smoking can help lower the chances of developing high blood pressure. Age is also an important factor, since high blood pressure becomes much more common as people get older. Ethnicity can also play a role: high blood pressure is more common among African Americans than most other ethnicities. Other health conditions like high cholesterol and diabetes can also increase the chances of developing high blood pressure.

Did you know?

In the U.S., as many as 85-90% of people are expected to develop high blood pressure in their lifetime.

Find out if your genetics might increase your likelihood of developing high blood pressure  

The High Blood Pressure report (Powered by 23andMe Research) can help you learn what your genetics have to say about your likelihood of developing high blood pressure, part of the 23andMe+ Premium membership. 23andMe+ Premium includes everything in our Health + Ancestry Service plus new premium reports and features throughout the year.

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Please note:

  • The High Blood Pressure report does not diagnose high blood pressure and should not be used to make medical decisions.
  • The report was developed by 23andMe scientists using data and insights gathered from thousands of customers who consent to participate in our research. Reports based on 23andMe research provide an estimate of your likelihood of developing a condition based on your genetics and other factors. This report does not account for lifestyle or family history.
  • The report does not account for every possible genetic variant that could affect your likelihood of developing high blood pressure.


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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2017). “Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) Prevalence & Trends Data.” Retrieved May 4, 2020, from 

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Hermida RC et al. (2011). “Decreasing sleep-time blood pressure determined by ambulatory monitoring reduces cardiovascular risk.” J Am Coll Cardiol. 58(11):1165-73. 

Hsu CY et al. (2005). “Elevated blood pressure and risk of end-stage renal disease in subjects without baseline kidney disease.” Arch Intern Med. 165(8):923-8. 

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Taylor RS et al. (2011). “Reduced dietary salt for the prevention of cardiovascular disease: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (Cochrane review).” Am J Hypertens. 24(8):843-53. 

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, 2nd edition. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; 2018. 

Vasan RS et al. (2002). “Residual lifetime risk for developing hypertension in middle-aged women and men: The Framingham Heart Study.” JAMA. 287(8):1003-10. 

Wang NY et al. (2008). “Blood pressure change and risk of hypertension associated with parental hypertension: the Johns Hopkins Precursors Study.” Arch Intern Med. 168(6):643-8. 

Whelton PK et al. (2017). “2017 ACC/AHA/AAPA/ABC/ACPM/AGS/APhA/ASH/ASPC/NMA/PCNA Guideline for the Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Management of High Blood Pressure in Adults: A Report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Clinical Practice Guidelines.” Hypertension. 71(6):e13-e115.