Heart weeks: Underestimated risk of high blood pressure

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Health risk high blood pressure focus on the heart weeks

Hypertension is often underestimated by those affected due to the lack of symptoms in the early stages of the disease. In fact, the German Heart Foundation warns in advance of this year's Herzwochen that hypertension patients are at risk of numerous complications such as strokes, heart attacks, heart failure, irregular heartbeat, kidney failure and blindness.

As the heart specialist and CEO of the German Heart Foundation, Thomas Meinertz, emphasized on the occasion of the 2011 Heart Weeks in November, excessive blood pressure can become an acute health threat, especially in winter. In addition, according to the expert, hypertension is relatively widespread in Germany, with people of all ages and both sexes being increasingly affected. In view of the creeping clinical picture, the symptoms often remain inconspicuous initially and are limited to mild headaches, hot flashes, heart throbbing and similar non-specific complaints, explained the German Heart Foundation. In the later course of the disease, however, high blood pressure brings with it numerous other health impairments and complications.

35 million Germans have high blood pressure The German Heart Foundation has devoted this year's Herzwochen to the topic of “high blood pressure” and has already made numerous contributions to the special risks of high blood pressure in the run-up to the Herzwochen. According to the experts, “between 18 and 35 million people have high blood pressure in Germany”, whereby not only old people but also younger populations are increasingly affected. According to the German Heart Foundation, up to ten million sufferers do not even know about their high blood pressure. As Bernhard Schwaab from the Department of Cardiology at the Höhenried Clinic and member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the German Heart Foundation explained, too high blood pressure is "the most common risk factor for heart and vascular diseases" in Germany today, although "with the changes in our lifestyle to do. Not only is the ignorance of those affected a significant problem during treatment, but also the fact that many patients clearly underestimate the consequences of high blood pressure. In the initial stage "there is usually no access to treatment because those affected do not feel sick," added the heart specialist Thomas Meinertz.

Blood pressure monitoring particularly important in winter The experts of the German Heart Foundation have also pointed out in their current press releases that both in summer when the weather is particularly hot and humid and in winter when it is extremely cold outside and often overheating indoors, the health risks from high blood pressure increase significantly. The exact causes of the increased complaints in hypertension patients in winter have not yet been fully clarified, but some studies indicate that the heart rate and the concentration of vasodilating nitrogen monoxide are lower in winter, the experts from the German Hypertension League explained. This increases the risk of high blood pressure, which is why those affected should check their blood pressure particularly often in winter, the German Hypertension League continues. This blood pressure control or "strict adherence to the target value below 140/90 mm Hg is important due to the seasonal risk, especially in winter", emphasized the expert of the German Hypertension League, Joachim Leiblein.

Heart weeks are dedicated to the topic of high blood pressure In general, those affected should take possible indications of high blood pressure seriously and in any case consult a doctor, according to the German Heart Foundation and the German Hypertension League in the run-up to this year's Heart Weeks. However, this is very difficult for some patients, because they still feel healthy for a long time despite the increased blood pressure. Over time, however, the high blood pressure damages all large and small blood vessels in the organism, which in the long term threatens significant circulatory disorders, warn the health organizations. In the long term, vital organs are also affected, which in the worst case can lead to acute symptoms such as heart attacks, strokes or blindness, the experts continue. Since hypertension can happen to almost everyone, blood pressure should be checked preventively annually "from the age of 40 at the latest", Bernhard Schwaab explained and added: "Anyone who is already familiar with cardiovascular diseases or high blood pressure from the family circle should start from 30th year of life ”start with the controls. (fp)

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