World Hypertension Day: Hypertension is one of the leading causes of death
According to the German Hypertension League, around a quarter of people worldwide suffer from high blood pressure (hypertension) and in Germany around 35 million people are affected. Every fourth death (26 percent) in Germany is due to high blood pressure. On today's World Hypertension Day, "numerous self-help groups, hypertension centers, clinics, medical practices and pharmacies offer information events" to explain the causes, complications and prevention options for hypertension, according to the German High Pressure League.
Relying on data from the Global Burden of Disease Study (GBDS), initiated in 1992 by the Harvard School of Public Health, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Bank, the German Hypertension League reports that 13 percent of deaths worldwide are caused by high blood pressure. This makes hypertension one of the most common risk factors for avoidable deaths alongside smoking. Special attention is due to this year's World Hypertension Day, the often underestimated complication of high blood pressure, atrial fibrillation, reported the German Hypertension League. “People who suffer from atrial fibrillation have a risk of stroke that is up to five times higher,” the experts warned emphatically.
Atrial fibrillation as a complication of high blood pressure High blood pressure can bring about various health problems, of which atrial fibrillation is one of the particularly little known and equally serious. "Prevention and timely treatment of atrial fibrillation are important measures, especially with regard to stroke prophylaxis," said the German Hypertension League. According to the experts, the smallest blood clots form in the atria during the flickering phases, which can later partially or completely occlude individual blood vessels. If the arteries in the brain are affected, this leads to a stroke. Since it is known that "people with high blood pressure are up to 42 percent more likely to develop this cardiac arrhythmia than people with normal blood pressure values", they have to be particularly careful here, according to the German Hypertension League. The experts also recommend that "everyone should know their blood pressure values and perform a blood pressure measurement from time to time".
Successful prevention of high blood pressure According to the German Hypertension League, high blood pressure can often be successfully eliminated “by changing lifestyle, eating healthy, exercising, normalizing body weight, not smoking and reducing alcohol consumption”. Nevertheless, “drug treatment is still necessary in many cases.” In the sense of stroke prevention, blood pressure monitoring and, if necessary, lowering are of particular importance here. To convey this message to a broader public, the motto of this year's World Hypertension Day is: "Healthy blood pressure - healthy heartbeat", according to the announcement of the German Hypertension League. (fp)
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