Stroke and Heart Attack: Avoidable Drama?

Cardiovascular diseases are the leading causes of death in Germany, with every second person dying of such diseases. Approximately 250, 000 strokes occur annually (50, 000 deadly). 75% are caused by sudden vascular occlusions with subsequent death of brain tissue, in 25% is the cause of hemorrhage in the brain. In both cases, hypertension is the number one stroke risk factor, followed by smoking, diabetes, and cholesterol elevation. After 3 months, 1/3 of all stroke patients are deceased or permanently severely handicapped and in need of care, 10% have moderate and the other minor disabilities or functional failures.


Every year more than 400, 000 heart attacks occur, of which over 40% are fatal. Heart attacks are caused by an acute obstruction of the coronary arteries, which supplies the heart muscle with blood. Such clots are usually the result of arteriosclerosis of the coronary arteries. The main risk factors are cholesterol elevation, smoking and diabetes. Although hypertension is not the primary risk factor for heart attack (as opposed to stroke), the risk of heart attack can also be significantly reduced by lowering blood pressure.

Burden on relatives and business

Strokes and heart attacks have enormous individual and economic importance: Due to the disability after a stroke and the limitation of the capacity to withstand a heart attack, the affected person and his family suffer serious losses of quality of life. These diseases also cause enormous costs through hospital treatment, rehabilitation, work loss and disability. In addition, especially after strokes may have enormous follow-up costs due to the disability and long-term care.


The most effective protection against stroke and myocardial infarction is the optimization of individual risk factors. In addition to a healthy lifestyle (weight normalization, a lot of exercise, abstinence from smoking and excessive alcohol consumption), this also includes the use of suitable medication to normalize the increased blood pressure and elevated cholesterol. The effectiveness of such measures has been scientifically proven. For many patients, stroke and heart attack would be "an avoidable drama". Source: Prof. Dr. med. med. Peter Baumgart, Med. Clinic I, Clemenshospital Münster; Haas & Health Partner Public Relations

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