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German blood pressure initiative to flush out hidden sufferers?

This article was originally published in Clinica

Executive Summary

German doctors and pharmacists have agreed on new readings for high blood pressure in a bid to encourage more people to check their levels and seek treatment if necessary. There are some 30 million individuals with high blood pressure in Germany, but only 15 million are aware of it. The German population is 80 million. German High Blood Pressure League chairman Prof Joachim Hoyer said: “The hidden population of sufferers especially will benefit from this close co-operation between doctors and pharmacists.” The German pharmacists’ union (ABDA) agreed. High blood pressure is, as before, 140/90 mm (millimetres of mercury). Patients with readings above this should see a doctor with no unreasonable delay. What's new is that this now also applies for diabetics and renal/heart disease patients with a lower reading of 130/85. And a reading of 160/100 means the patient should seek medical attention immediately. The broader awareness of the need to control high blood pressure will have positive spin-offs for certain OEM manufacturers, but, more crucially, will benefit patients and potentially reduce longer-term costs to the German healthcare system.

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