Heart weeks: Heart under pressure

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This year's focus of the heart weeks hypertension

As part of this year's Herzwochen of the German Heart Foundation, numerous events have been taking place nationwide on the subject of high blood pressure and its effects on the risk of stroke since the beginning of November.

Until the end of the month, experts at various congresses, conferences and other events will provide information about the health risks of untreated high blood pressure (hypertension). The connection with the occurrence of around 250,000 strokes per year is a focus of this year's Herzwochen.

In reference to the focus on high blood pressure, the German Heart Foundation chose the motto "Heart under pressure" for the heart weeks this year, with the current events primarily focusing on the health risks of untreated high blood pressure and prevention options. For example, a free lecture afternoon organized jointly by the German Heart Foundation, the AOK NordWest and the St. Martinus Hospital in Olpe (South Westphalia) is dedicated to the dangers of untreated high blood pressure. Since high blood pressure is initially accompanied by relatively inconspicuous symptoms such as mild, headache, hot flashes, heart throbbing and similar unspecific complaints, hypertension often remains untreated in the early stages, according to the German Heart Foundation.

According to the experts, the health consequences of untreated high blood pressure are catastrophic in the long term. For example, those affected often only go to the doctor if, due to their high blood pressure, other serious health problems such as heart stumbling or irregular heartbeat, heart failure, strokes, heart attacks, kidney failure or blindness occur. According to the German Heart Foundation, “between 18 and 35 million people have high blood pressure in Germany.” This affects not only older people but also younger people. According to the experts, around ten million people are not aware of the disease. Bernhard Schwaab from the cardiology department of the Höhenried clinic and a member of the scientific advisory board of the German Heart Foundation therefore emphasized that everyone should have their blood pressure checked preventively every year "from the age of 40 at the latest". In addition, appropriate preventive medical examinations for patients who already have “cardiovascular diseases or high blood pressure from the family, should be recommended from the age of 30”. (fp)

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