Arterial hypertension is the leading preventable cause of cardiovascular disease worldwide. Effective European programs aiming to improve awareness, treatment, and control of hypertension are lacking.
Europe is heading the statistics for hypertension prevalence and cardiovascular disease. On the one hand this predominance reflects the increasing life expectancy in European population, whereas on the other hand, it can be attributed to the sedentary lifestyle and the nutritional habits of wealthy societies. Despite its economic power, Europe also ranges among the regions with the lowest rates of hypertension awareness and control worldwide.
The present study discusses the influence of medical inertia, insufficient patient education, contradictory recommendations from the European and independent national societies, the need for hypertension programs, as well as differences in health policies in Europe as potential factors that may contribute to this discrepancy.
aUniversity Hypertension Center Cologne
bDepartment III for Internal Medicine, Heart Center of the University of Cologne
cDepartment of Internal Medicine, Ev. Klinikum Köln-Weyertal
dInstitute of Aerospace Medicine, German Aerospace Center (DLR)
eAerospace Medicine, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany
Correspondence to Hannes Reuter, Department of Internal Medicine, Ev. Klinikum Köln-Weyertal, Weyertal 76, 50931 Cologne, Germany. Tel: +49 221 4792246; fax: +49 221 4792056; e-mail: email@example.com