Hypertension is particularly common in eastern Germany
Hypertension (hypertension) does not cause symptoms. However, there are certain signs that can indicate increased blood pressure. These notices include buzzing in the ears, dizziness, nosebleeds or shortness of breath. Those who suffer from such complaints more often should have their blood pressure values checked by a doctor.
As the Barmer health insurance company reports in a recent release, around 23.5 million people in Germany were diagnosed with high blood pressure (hypertension) in 2018. This corresponds to around 28.4 percent of the population. According to the health insurance fund, high blood pressure is a problem, especially in eastern Germany. One reason for this could be the lifestyle.
Hypertension does not cause pain
High blood pressure does not cause pain, but it can lead to life-threatening diseases such as a heart attack or stroke. Against this background, the Barmer advises to pay attention to warning signals from the body in good time.
"Anyone who experiences buzzing in the ears, dizziness, nosebleeds or shortness of breath for a long time should have their blood pressure checked by a doctor," says Dr. Ursula Marschall, chief medical officer at Barmer.
“Because a permanently elevated blood pressure puts a strain on the vessels and is the number one risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. It can also cause kidney damage, ”explains the expert.
[GList slug = ”10-signs-for-hypertension”]
A single blood pressure measurement is not enough for diagnosis
A blood pressure of 120 mmHg to 80 mmHg is normal. Hypertension is defined by a systolic blood pressure of over 140 mmHg and a diastolic blood pressure of more than 90 mmHg.
“The doctor can check blood pressure regularly. But there are also good devices that everyone can use to check their blood pressure at home, ”says Marschall.
It should be noted: “A single blood pressure measurement cannot determine high blood pressure. This requires at least three blood pressure measurements on two different days, ”explains the German Hypertension League on its website.
The doctor will also take into account the values that a patient himself measured at home. If there are still doubts, a 24-hour blood pressure measurement can be carried out. All values together show whether there is high blood pressure and how severe the disease is.
Higher average age in eastern German states
According to a Barmer analysis, there were significant regional differences in hypertension diagnoses in 2018. Accordingly, the affected rate was the highest at 35.0 percent in Saxony-Anhalt and the lowest in Bremen at 24.3 percent.
Overall, hypertension was diagnosed more frequently in the new federal states, namely in 34.2 percent of the population in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, 33.8 percent in Thuringia, 32.9 percent in Brandenburg and 31.7 percent in Saxony.
According to the health insurance, this could be related to the higher average age in the eastern German states or with the lifestyle.
Because in addition to age and heredity, personal lifestyle in particular can promote hypertension. According to the Hypertension League, there are four main factors that lead to high blood pressure: insufficient exercise, unhealthy diet, overweight and stress.
Healthy and balanced lifestyle
"A healthy and balanced lifestyle can minimize the risks of high blood pressure," explains Marschall.
Those who quit smoking, exercise more, reduce the consumption of salt and alcohol, or lower their stress levels, strengthen their cardiovascular system.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle in many cases also makes it unnecessary to resort to antihypertensive drugs. (ad)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the requirements of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.
- Barmer: Hypertension is a problem, especially in East Germany, (access: December 31, 2019), Barmer
- German high pressure league: effectively combat high blood pressure, (access: 31.12.2019), German high pressure league