A person with asthma may have a higher risk of high blood pressure and vice versa. The links may associate with the genetic basis of both, certain medications, or the similar risk factors for developing the conditions.

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Asthma may be a risk factor for having high blood pressure — hypertension — and, in turn, hypertension can aggravate asthma symptoms.

This article explores the link between hypertension and asthma, risk factors, and potential treatments and management.

People with asthma are more likely to have high blood pressure, and, in turn, the presence of hypertension may cause increased severity of asthma.

A 2022 study found that people with a history of allergic disorders may be at a higher risk of developing hypertension and heart disease.

Examples of allergic disorders include allergies such as:


Scientists have found that there is likely a genetic link between hypertension and asthma. A 2019 study associated 330 genes with both of these conditions.

The researchers behind this study discovered interconnections between these genes. The close link between these shared genes may be partly why people develop both conditions at once.

Another study from 2018 identified certain genes which had the highest priority in the development of comorbidity in both conditions.


2019 research explored the links between certain medications for one condition which can aggravate the other.

Certain anti-asthmatic drugs may worsen hypertension. Meanwhile, antihypertensive drugs can complicate asthma.

Beta-blockers, such as propranolol and metoprolol, used to control blood pressure, can predispose people to asthma attacks. Beta-agonists to treat asthma may cause significant changes in blood pressure. Therefore, doctors use them with caution in people with hypertension.

ACE inhibitors such as lisinopril, to lower blood pressure, may induce cough-like symptoms that worsen asthma.

Doctors will work with a person to find the most suitable treatment plan to determine which medication will treat one or both conditions.

Some of the risk factors for hypertension and asthma may overlap. An elevated body mass index (BMI) is a common risk factor for developing both conditions. Likewise, individuals who smoke cigarettes and experience long-term stress have an increased risk.

Asthma risk factors

People are more likely to develop asthma if they have:

  • a history of asthma in their family
  • known environmental allergies
  • respiratory infections early in life
  • a history of smoking
  • obesity

Hypertension risk factors

Individuals are at a higher risk for developing hypertension if they:

  • have obesity
  • follow an unbalanced diet
  • consume alcohol or tobacco
  • have a family history of hypertension
  • partake in limited physical activity

Researchers believe that the causes behind hypertension and asthma are a combination of environmental and genetic factors.

Current treatment recommendations for hypertension with asthma are limited. Most medical professionals tend to follow treatment protocols for both individual conditions.

Doctors treating people with both conditions may also recommend lifestyle modifications alongside prescribing medications. For example, lifestyle changes such as exercise and a balanced diet may help reduce the severity of both hypertension and asthma.

The management of hypertension and asthma varies from person to person. Doctors may recommend management strategies unique to each condition. They may examine how the strategies overlap and make adjustments as needed.

Asthma management

Most people with asthma can successfully manage their symptoms with medications and lifestyle changes.


Asthma medications come in two forms: quick-relief (short-acting) and long-term control (long-acting).

Short-acting medications control the symptoms of an asthma attack. Inhaled albuterol is the usual treatment in acute asthma management. At the same time, long-acting bronchodilators help people have fewer and milder attacks.

Certain people with asthma also find relief from a nebulizer machine. This machine delivers asthma medication in the form of a mist. People with asthma can breathe in this mist through a mouthpiece or mask.

Anti-inflammatory medications, or corticosteroids, can also help manage asthma symptoms. People can take these medications in the following forms:

  • inhaled
  • pill
  • liquids

Lifestyle changes

Asthma medication alone is sometimes not enough to treat the condition. Certain lifestyle changes may also be beneficial, including:

Avoiding the known allergen and environmental triggers can help reduce the number of asthma attacks, and maximizing air quality in the home or office can also help improve asthma symptoms.

Find out more about common asthma triggers.

Hypertension management

Doctors may prescribe medications to treat hypertension, such as beta-blockers and ACE inhibitors. Diuretics help the body get rid of extra salt and water to reduce blood pressure.

Other treatments for hypertension involve lifestyle modifications. Eating a balanced diet low in salt can help manage high blood pressure. Other changes include:

Read on for the best exercises for asthma.

People with hypertension and asthma should consult a doctor to determine the best treatment program. Treating both conditions at once may require regular treatment adjustments.

Both hypertension and asthma are relatively common conditions, and with suitable treatment and lifestyle modifications, most people can manage these conditions.

If they occur simultaneously, doctors may need to alter treatment plans. Certain hypertension medications can exacerbate asthma conditions. People with both conditions may need to explore alternative treatment options.

A clinical trial completed in 2019 examined the use of beta-blockers for the long-term management of asthma symptoms. Although these drugs usually help reduce blood pressure, the research suggested that long-term use could reduce airway inflammation and improve asthma symptoms.

Further research may lead to even more promising treatments that can manage both conditions together.

Hypertension and asthma are two conditions that can occur simultaneously. Certain blood pressure medications can worsen asthma symptoms, and in turn, asthma relievers may affect a person’s blood pressure.

With the right combination of medication and lifestyle adjustments, people can manage both conditions.