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About Prof. MD D. Andresen
Prof. Dr. med. Dietrich Andresen is a specialist in internal medicine, cardiology and emergency medicine. Since 2018 he has been chairman of the board of the German Heart Foundation. His clinical focus includes the diagnosis and therapy of cardiac arrhythmias as well as the interventional therapy of coronary heart disease and valve diseases. After working as a clinic manager and medical director in other hospitals, among other things, he set further milestones in his professional career at Johannesstift Diakonie. In 2014 he took over the management of the cardiology department at the Hubertus Evangelical Hospital in Berlin-Zehlendorf. In the following years he acted as a driving force behind the company in many ways. Under his direction, the state-of-the-art cardiology clinic at the Martin Luther Hospital in Berlin-Charlottenburg opened in September 2019. Together with the chief physicians Dr. med. Ivan Diaz Ramirez, PD Dr. med. Michael Laule and Prof. Dr. med. Heinz Theres, he has since established the cross-hospital heart medicine of the Johannesstift Diakonie für Berlin with great success. The Martin Luther Hospital, the Evangelical Hospital Hubertus and the Evangelical Forest Hospital Spandau are equipped with the latest medical technology and enable treatment in all cardiology departments.
Thanks to his expertise, Prof. Dr. med. Dietrich Andresen has also been well known nationwide in the past few decades. He is a member of several specialist societies and professional associations as well as the scientific advisory board of specialist journals. He is also the organizer and scientific director of the “Rhythmological Expert Talk” in Berlin, which brings together cardiac specialists from all over Germany every year. In June 2018 Prof. Dr. med. Andresen elected chairman of the German Heart Foundation. With over 100,000 members, it is Germany's largest patient organization in the field of cardiovascular diseases.
In addition to providing the best possible treatment for people with heart disease, Prof. Dr. med. Andresen also put the issue of prevention and transparent communication between doctor and patient on the flags. He has also become a popular contact person for various formats for the media, as he is able to explain specialist knowledge in an understandable manner and classify it objectively.
High blood pressure is a silent and insidious killer. If it didnʼt exist, we humans would live much longer and healthier lives. The high blood pressure itself is not a serious illness at all. We actually feel fit and able-bodied, we need little sleep and are easily able to work. But over the course of the years, high blood pressure results in damage to our cardiovascular system. This can result in complications such as heart attacks, strokes and diseases of the eyes and kidneys.
We know for one thing that genetic determination – i.e. hereditary predisposition – is a factor. Itʼs not uncommon for the father or mother of a patient to have suffered a heart attack or stroke. But an unhealthy lifestyle also plays its part. Obesity, high salt intake, lack of exercise and sustained psychological and emotional stress are all risk factors that, together, push up blood pressure, which then leads to the organ damage in later life.
Youʼll go a long way to achieving this if you donʼt add any salt to your meal after cooking – get that salt shaker off the table!
Professor Andresen: Both mental and physical strain cause blood pressure to increase. This is a very normal adaptive process. Your blood pressure will begin to normalise again as soon as you calm down. If you are continually under stress, however, you may develop permanently raised blood pressure over time.
The walls of our arteries are actually very soft, very elastic; they give way. Raised blood pressure causes them to harden and stiffen. This is a process that unfolds over ten, twenty, thirty years. 50 per cent of all patients aged over 60 have problems related to arterial stiffness. Permanently high pressure causes the vascular walls to become porous, and deposits can form, e.g. of cholesterol or calcifications.
The high pressure damages the delicate inner lining of the arteries, which gradually begins to crack. Itʼs a bit like the inner tube of a tyre: if you inflate this from two bar to four bar, the high pressure will cause the tube to become porous and it could tear. The process is the same for your arteries.
Even if the tears are only miniscule, the body detects that something is bleeding. The thrombocytes (blood platelets) then arrive on the scene and try to staunch the bleeding. They do this by closing the artery completely – they clog it up. This clogging is known as an infarction or a heart attack. Itʼs why we call a clogged coronary artery a cardiac infarction; a clogged blood vessel in the brain is known as a cerebral infarction or stroke. Both events are the catastrophic consequence of a high blood pressure condition that started out so harmlessly.
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