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Counteract early for high blood pressure: What should you watch out for when measuring blood pressure?
According to health experts, around four million adults in Germany suffer from high blood pressure (hypertension) without knowing this. For these people, the risk of suffering a heart attack, stroke or kidney damage increases considerably because high blood pressure usually damages the organs unnoticed. Experts recommend that blood pressure be measured regularly and recorded.
Around 20 million adults in Germany are affected by hypertension. However, many have no idea of their high blood pressure. This can have dangerous consequences, because untreated high blood pressure increases the risk of numerous other diseases. An expert from the German Heart Foundation recommends regular measurement and logging in a blood pressure passport.
Measure blood pressure early and regularly
"You don't see him and you don't feel him, that's the tricky thing about high blood pressure. That is why the high blood pressure is also called 'silent killer', ”explains Prof. Dr. med. Heribert Schunkert from the board of the German Heart Foundation and Medical Director of the German Heart Center Munich in a message. "So it is particularly important to know your own blood pressure values, because this is the only way to uncover previously unrecognized high blood pressure," says the cardiologist.
[GList slug = ”10-signs-for-hypertension”]
According to the expert, blood pressure should be measured early and regularly - from the start of school to the pediatrician and later as part of the routine check-up at the family doctor. "The values should be recorded in a blood pressure passport so that the course is documented and can be discussed the next time you visit a doctor," recommends Schunkert. A careful measurement is necessary to determine whether there is high blood pressure. The following points should be noted:
- Take the measurement at the earliest after five minutes in a relaxed position (without physical and mental stress, do not drink coffee or black tea), placing your forearm on a pad so that the blood pressure cuff on your upper arm is at heart level.
- Measure on both arms during the first measurement; decisive for the diagnosis
is the arm with the higher readings. In the following, measurements should always be made on this arm.
- Blood pressure should be measured two or three times in succession, each with a half-minute break. Experience has shown that there is a certain drop in blood pressure over time. The average value of the last two measurements is decisive for the diagnosis.
- In the case of elevated blood pressure values, it is advisable to measure the blood pressure several times a day and several days a week and to record the values. This blood pressure protocol (blood pressure passport) should be taken to the doctor to discuss the problem.
- Even if only the upper or the lower value (systolic, diastolic) is increased, one speaks of high blood pressure.
Basically, blood pressure can also be measured on the wrist. For this purpose, devices should be used whose measuring accuracy has been checked and documented by a seal, for example from the high pressure league.
After diagnosis, consistent therapy is required
If the blood pressure values are too high, they must be treated consistently. Treatment depends on the patient's overall situation, which results from blood pressure, risk factors and existing organ damage. The therapy is based on a double strategy consisting of lifestyle changes (for example, healthy eating, weight loss, regular exercise, little salt and alcohol) and drug treatment with antihypertensives.
Psychological factors can have an impact
Psychological factors can also influence blood pressure values. For example, when measuring in a doctor's office, when medical specialists measure blood pressure in a white coat, there may already be increased blood pressure values and the result may be falsified. In such cases, doctors speak of the so-called "white coat hypertension". Then a 24-hour blood pressure measurement is helpful, in which the blood pressure is measured every 15-30 minutes using a portable device.
How high can the values be?
But how high can the blood pressure actually be? As stated in a communication from the ABDA - Federal Association of German Pharmacists' Associations. V. means, there is high blood pressure if the blood pressure values are 140 to 90 or higher; in people aged 80 and over over 160 to 90. Blood pressure values below this are not treated with medication - with a few exceptions for patients with comorbidities. Optimally, the blood pressure is below 120 to 80.
"But that doesn't mean that blood pressure has to be lowered so deeply with medicines," said Prof. Martin Middeke from the Hypertension Center in Munich. “On the contrary, that would not be healthy for many patients. A drop below 140 to 90 is often enough. Especially for patients between 65 and 80 years, the doctor has a great deal of discretion with regard to the therapy goals, ”said the expert. (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.