What are the causes of high blood pressure? Many times there is not a known direct cause of high blood pressure. Blood pressure can certainly go higher as a result of contributing risk factors. Smoking, being overweight or obese, or a lack of exercise can play a role in high blood pressure. But these factors can be corrected over time to prevent your blood pressure from rising to an unhealthy level. The contributing causes of blood pressure can also vary from stress to medical disorders, such as chronic kidney disease or diabetes. In some cases, coming from a family background where high blood pressure is common may not be so easy to control, as genetics plays a very large part in high blood pressure. Some specific patients develop high blood pressure, such as those who are pregnant, those who are older, particularly over the age of 35, and in some cases, specific drugs like weight loss medications, endocrine disorders such as Cushing's disease, kidney failure, and several other conditions can be linked to cause high blood pressure.