Blood pressure: Are your values ​​really correct? Chief doctors explain how to avoid measurement errors

 Blood pressure: Are your values ​​really correct?  Chief doctors explain how to avoid measurement errors

Blood pressure measurements can save lives in the long term, but errors must be avoided. Chief physicians explain how to obtain reliable values.

One in three adults has high blood pressure, but many don’t even know it. This means they are at high risk because hypertension is considered a “silent killer.” Munich cardiologists and the German Heart Foundation are warning about this on the occasion of World Hypertension Day on May 17. They recommend periodic blood pressure checks. However, there are a few things to keep in mind. In our comprehensive report, doctors explain how to obtain reliable measurements, what dangers exist and how to protect yourself against them.

Professor Martin Halle from Rechts der Isar University Hospital: “Increased blood pressure puts pressure on the cerebral vessels”

This widespread disease does not hurt, but causes massive damage to blood vessels. There is a risk of stroke, heart attack or kidney failure. You can even go blind or develop dementia. “The increase in blood pressure puts pressure on the cerebral vessels,” explains Professor Martin Halle, specialist in preventive medicine at Rechts der Isar University Hospital. “If high blood pressure is treated effectively with medications, the risk of Alzheimer’s disease is reduced by 16 percent, according to one study. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia.” The fight against high blood pressure values ​​is worth it at any age, confirms Professor Michael Böhm from Herzsti

ftung. Reports results from China. Subsequently, with high blood pressure well controlled, mental deterioration was less than in untreated patients.

Professor Markus Krane from the German Heart Center in Munich: “Hypertension is one of the biggest risk factors for an aortic aneurysm”

Life-threatening enlargement of the main artery is often due to prolonged high blood pressure. “In addition to genetic predisposition, high blood pressure is one of the biggest risk factors for suffering from an aortic aneurysm,” explains Professor Markus Krane, director of the clinic for cardiac and vascular surgery at the German Heart Center in Munich.

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Experts in preventive medicine advise: Measure at least once a year starting at age 40.

“In general, starting at age 40, you should measure your blood pressure at least once a year, especially if you have frequent headaches or frequently feel sleepless or exhausted in the morning,” Halle recommends.

“Coffee and black tea increase blood pressure. In that case, your recorded blood pressure values ​​will be inaccurate. Smoking and alcohol also increase levels. If you have to take medication, you should measure it beforehand, ideally in the morning,” advises Professor Thomas Voigtländer, CEO of the Heart Foundation.

Sit five minutes before the measurement, preferably in a chair. The meter cuff should be at heart level and should not be worn over clothing. If the cuff sits too low on the upper arm, the measurement value will be too high. If the measurement point is above the heart, the value is too low. “One finger should still fit between the bracelet and the arm. During the measurement, talking, laughing, listening to music and watching television at high volume should be avoided,” continues Voigtländer. Don’t cross your legs.

This is the frequency with which you should measure

How often should blood pressure be measured? The German Heart Foundation recommends the following time intervals for all adults: with optimal blood pressure values ​​(below 120 mmHg/80 mmHg) at least every five years, with normal values ​​(120-129/80-84) every three years, with high normal blood pressure (130-139/85 -89) at least once a year and regularly at home for grade 1 hypertension (from 140/from 90).

“Measure blood pressure in both arms,” ​​explains Voigtländer. “Then look at which arm your values ​​are higher on. All the following measurements are carried out there. Differences of up to 20 mmHg are normal. Heart experts also recommend measuring blood pressure three times in a row with a break of about half a minute in between. “The average value of the last two measurements is decisive.”

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