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Heart experts warn: hypertension should be taken seriously
High blood pressure is still perceived by parts of the population as a disorder rather than a serious illness. Heart specialists warn against this dangerous misconception, because it is not for nothing that high blood pressure is called “the silent killer” in specialist circles. Many sufferers are not aware that hypertension is the number one risk factor for the development of fatal heart diseases. Furthermore, long-lasting high blood pressure is responsible for irreparable organ damage. Heart experts explain the risks.
According to the German Hypertension League, around 20 to 30 million people in Germany suffer from high blood pressure. The number of unreported cases among those affected is high. According to the society, this is due to the fact that many patients know nothing about their suffering or simply do not go to the doctor because they underestimate the risks. In addition, about 28 percent of the treated patients fail to keep their blood pressure in safe areas. This terse deal could take revenge on permanent organ damage, heart attacks, strokes or kidney failure.
Hypertension is too often underestimated
"Every second heart attack and stroke as well as every fifth kidney failure are caused by high blood pressure," write the specialists of the German Hypertension League in a press release. Too many people still do not know that high blood pressure is a dangerous disease. The World Health Organization (WHO) shares the assessment of the high-pressure league. She classified high blood pressure as the greatest global health risk. Due to the increasing life expectancy, one can assume that this disease will continue to increase in the future.
What makes hypertension so dangerous?
Persistent hypertension leads to calcification and narrowing of the blood vessels (arterial calcification), according to the experts in the German Hypertension League. Coronary arteries are also affected. The danger that arises from this: The vessel is completely closed - there is a heart attack or stroke. Even a container that is not completely closed causes damage. As the heart experts report, the narrowing of the arteries and the heart is subject to greater pressure. The heart had to pump excessively to transport the blood. As a result, the heart muscle hardens and thickens, which ultimately leads to a loss of performance.
Half of all heart attacks and strokes can be avoided
In the long run, the reduced cardiac output becomes increasingly life threatening, according to the cardiologists. Around half of all heart attacks and strokes can be prevented if the blood pressure is adjusted well in time.
The kidney also suffers
Another problem, according to the cardiac specialists, is that high blood pressure often leads to kidney damage. Conversely, kidney disease can also cause high blood pressure. In the case of terminal renal failure, the high-pressure patient has only dialysis as a treatment option. About 15 to 19 percent of all dialysis patients are instructed because they have not previously treated their high blood pressure adequately. "12,000 to 15,000 dialysis cases in Germany alone could have been prevented if these patients had high blood pressure recognized and treated early," emphasizes Professor Dr. med. Helmut Geiger from the German Hypertension League.
Why is hypertension so common?
In theory, high blood pressure can be avoided relatively easily. Lack of exercise, obesity, unhealthy eating, stress and increased alcohol consumption are the main risk factors for hypertension, according to the specialists. These factors can all be avoided through lifestyle changes. If this does not work, you can also take blood pressure lowerers. The German Hypertension League estimates that currently around half of all hypertension patients are either ignorant of their illness, deliberately unable to be treated, not adequately treated or do not take their therapy seriously enough. (vb)