Regular blood pressure measurements could save tens of thousands of lives annually

Regular blood pressure measurements could save tens of thousands of lives annually

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Recognize high blood pressure values ​​in good time: Regular blood pressure measurements save lives

Millions of Germans suffer from hypertension. Many have not known about their high blood pressure for a long time. This can have dangerous consequences, because if high blood pressure is left untreated, the risk of fatal complications increases. Regular blood pressure measurements are important in order to be able to recognize and treat excessively high blood pressure values ​​in good time. That saves lives!

Keep your heart and blood vessels fit into old age

As the German Hypertension League writes in a current announcement, half of all strokes and heart attacks could be avoided by the timely and adequate treatment of high blood pressure. For the World Hypertension Day on May 17, 2019, the experts would like to point out that this simple option can keep the heart and blood vessels healthy until old age. The motto of the campaign day this year is: "Know your pressure".

Dangerous long-term consequences of high blood pressure

Hypertension is a "silent" disease that has shown no symptoms in many patients for years or even decades. She is often referred to as a "silent killer".

A large number of those affected have had no idea about the disease for a long time, but this causes dramatic vascular damage in the background.

Long-term consequences of high blood pressure include heart attacks and strokes as well as kidney failure, retinal changes, which in the worst case can lead to blindness, and also dementia.

The longer the high blood pressure remains undetected and untreated, the higher the likelihood of such serious complications. That is why it is so important to diagnose and treat hypertension as early as possible.

[GList slug = ”10-signs-for-hypertension”]

Everyone should know their blood pressure values

High blood pressure can only be diagnosed through regular blood pressure measurements, so everyone - young or old - should know their values!

“Of course, the risk of high blood pressure is higher in older people than in young people. On average, every second person over the age of 60 is affected, ”says Prof. Dr. Bernhard K. Krämer, Mannheim, Chairman of the Board of the German Hypertensive League e.V. DHL® | German Society for Hypertension and Prevention.

"But young people can also have blood pressure levels that are too high - and if these remain undetected and untreated for years, they can greatly shorten the life expectancy of these people," explains the expert.

Regular blood pressure measurements can help to reduce the number of unreported cases of high blood pressure and to provide therapy for people with high blood pressure values ​​in good time.

Avoid 90,000 deaths annually

According to the high pressure league, a measurement every three years is recommended as long as the blood pressure is in the normal range of 120-129 / 80-84 mm Hg, and an annual measurement if the values ​​are highly normal, i.e. in the range of 130-139 / 85-89 mm Hg).

The numbers show how many lives could be saved if all adults measured their blood pressure at these intervals:

  • Coronary heart disease (CHD), the underlying disease of the heart attack, led to 128,230 deaths in 2015, according to the German Heart Foundation.
  • Current data showed that there were a total of 58,556 deaths from stroke in Germany in 2013.
  • According to data from the Federal Statistical Office, a total of 338,700 people died of cardiovascular diseases in 2016, which primarily included heart attacks and strokes.

"We know that half of the heart attacks and strokes are caused by high blood pressure alone - with optimal treatment of all people with high blood pressure levels, over 90,000 deaths could be avoided even with a conservative estimate," explains the deputy chairman of the board of the German Hypertension League , Prof. Peter Trenkwalder.

"In addition, there are all the people for whom the heart attack or stroke did not cost the life, but for whom it led to severe restrictions in the quality of life, e.g. due to disabilities, ”said the doctor.

"This shows how urgent it is to bring about a rethink in the population, who often dismisses high blood pressure values ​​as an ailment. Hypertension is a serious illness with serious consequences, so it must be recognized and treated early. ”

Monitor the success of the therapy

However, regular measurements are not only important to diagnose high blood pressure in good time, they are also necessary for people suffering from high blood pressure to monitor the success of the therapy.

High blood pressure patients are often recommended to take a daily blood pressure measurement. Because currently only every second patient with hypertension is successfully treated.

The reasons for this are diverse. Patients often do not take their medication as prescribed.

Because high blood pressure is a “silent”, in many cases even completely symptom-free illness, many patients feel just as good (possibly even better!) If they do not take the tablets. They then wrongly conclude that they do not need the antihypertensives.

Another reason, according to the experts, is that some medications do not work as desired in some patients despite regular use. Then the therapy would have to be changed.

Sometimes a change in climate (summer> winter) or changes in the general conditions - for example if the patient can no longer do sports due to a broken leg - can lead to the need for higher doses to lower a patient's blood pressure to the target area.

In some cases, however, it is not necessary to use tablets anyway, because high blood pressure can often be reduced without medication.

In order to lower blood pressure, it is important, among other things, to reduce existing excess weight, to exercise regularly, to quit smoking and to eat a balanced and healthy diet.

“To ensure that our patients are treated optimally at all times, regular blood pressure measurements are required. Because the longer the blood pressure overshoots, the less the prospect of a long, disease-free life, ”says Prof. Bernhard Krämer.

Cash registers pay for the purchase of a blood pressure monitor

Therefore, the statutory health insurance companies pay for the initial diagnosis of high blood pressure (hypertension) the purchase of a blood pressure monitor.

When purchasing, it should be ensured that the blood pressure device carries the seal of approval of the German High Pressure League.

Because many devices available on the market deliver unreliable values, measuring devices with the DHL® seal of approval guarantee reliable measurements.

While there are now also ways to use your own smartphone to measure blood pressure, experts usually advise against it, since the accuracy leaves something to be desired. (ad)

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