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Blood pressure is often measured incorrectly – warning of masked hypertension



High blood pressure is a common disease in Germany and can cause stroke, heart disease or kidney failure. "Cardiovascular disease is still the number one cause of death," said Prof. Martin Middeke of the Munich Hypertension Center at "Pharmacon", the international advanced training congress of the Federal Pharmacist Chamber. "That's why it's important for everyone to know their values ​​and treat high blood pressure."

However, a single blood pressure measurement has little value for a doctor – both at the doctor's office and at the pharmacy. It is known, for example, that values ​​that are too high are measured in medical practice ("white coat effect"). On the other hand, especially in middle-aged men, blood pressure may increase during working hours, but it is normal in a doctor's office. This is called masked hypertension. This phenomenon is associated with high risk.

How to measure their values ​​correctly

Middeke recommends the following measurement procedures: First, the patient must rest, physically, mentally and emotionally. Then blood pressure is measured for the first time. If the value increases, the second or third measurement must be done after one or two minutes and relaxation. The simplest and most effective form of relaxation is what is called deep breathing: inhale slowly and slowly through the nose and exhale deeply and slowly through the mouth. As a result, high blood pressure decreases rapidly naturally.

Hypertension is present when blood pressure is 140 to 90 or higher; more than 160 to 90 in people over the age of 80. Blood pressure values ​​- with some exceptions for people with comorbidities – are not treated with medication.

Optimal blood pressure

Ideally, blood pressure below 120 to 80. Middeke: "But that does not mean that blood pressure from drugs should be lowered very low. On the contrary, it will not be healthy for many patients. Reduction below 140 to 90 is often enough. Especially in patients aged between 65 and 80 years, doctors have great discretion in the goals of therapy. "

If medication is needed, Middeke recommends taking it in the morning. "Best in the morning at the edge of the bed to take antihypertension, not just for breakfast. Because the earlier the drug is taken, the faster it can work.

During the night intake, blood pressure at night is partly too low, and then the body reacts with unwanted precautions. "Night intake is only needed if blood pressure does not go down during sleep – measured by long-term outpatient measurements.

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