Millions of people in Germany have it and the number is increasing: high blood pressure. In order to prevent hypertension, which is a widespread disease, Kai Lopau, an internist at the University Hospital of Würzburg, believes that more education is needed.

“Health education should start in kindergartens and schools and educate people about the risk factors that are also of great importance for many other diseases,” said the acting head of nephrology on the occasion of World Hypertension Day this Friday (May 17th).

ascending trend

According to the German Hypertension League, between 20 and 30 million people nationwide are affected by high blood pressure. Given the aging of society, the doctor Lopau expects that the number of those affected will increase in the coming years. The risk factors are known: old age, overweight, type 2 diabetes, an unhealthy diet, lack of exercise and if the parents already had high blood pressure.

According to Lopau, more men than women are affected by it up to the age of 50, and from the age of 50 onwards it is the other way round. According to the Robert Koch Institute, around two thirds of people over 65 have high blood pressure.

In view of such figures, the internist advocates regular blood pressure screening routines. Because: As long as high blood pressure is not particularly high, you usually don’t notice it. “If, on the other hand, the blood pressure is very high, the consequences can be headaches, nosebleeds, heart pain and visual problems. These would definitely be reasons to have your blood pressure checked by a doctor.”

change of lifestyle

If the blood pressure is too high, it takes time to lower it again. “The whole thing is a process and not something that can be done in a few weeks,” said Lopau. If the values ​​are not too high and there are no subsequent damages, the first thing to do, according to the doctor, is to look at your lifestyle. “A healthy diet and sufficient exercise are important to lower blood pressure. Smoking and drinking alcohol, on the other hand, are harmful.”

If high blood pressure cannot be permanently reduced through lifestyle changes alone, medication is required. The possible long-term consequences of high blood pressure are serious: they include heart failure, stroke, kidney failure and vision problems.