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High blood pressure (hypertension) can lead to cardiovascular disease and renal failure. Throughout the world, 9.4 million deaths per year can be attributed to high blood pressure. This makes hypertension the most significant modifiable risk factor for mortality.

The leading risk factors for high blood pressure are a lack of physical exercise, overweight, an unhealthy diet, stress and high alcohol consumption. Since these lifestyle factors can be changed, there is great potential for preventing high blood pressure.

Blood pressure in children is lower than in adults. However, it is a determining factor for the further development of blood pressure in the course of a person’s life, and is therefore the subject of increasing attention in prevention research.

Research on Hypertension

At Robert Koch Institute, a number of research projects cover the development and influencing factors of high blood pressure in adults in Germany. Interaction with other cardiovascular risk factors, healthcare and regional differences remain of interest here. A methodical project deals with comparison of different blood pressure monitors.

For the first time, German reference percentiles have been published on the resting blood pressure of children according to height, age and sex. These were based on data from the KiGGS basic survey 2003–2006.


The persisting gender gap in hypertension management and control in Germany: 1998 and 2008–2011

Sarganas G, Neuhauser HK (2016) Hypertens Res. 2016 Jun; 39(6): 457-66. doi: 10.1038/hr.2016.5

Time Trends in Cardiometabolic Risk Factors in Adults. Results from three nationwide German examination surveys from 1990–2011

Finger JD, Busch MA, Du Y, Heidemann C,; Knopf H, Kuhnert R, Lampert T, Mensink GBM, Neuhauser H, Schaffrath Rosario A, Scheidt-Nave C, Schienkiewitz A, Truthmann J, Kurth BM (2016) Dtsch Arztebl Int 2016; 113(42): 712-9; DOI: 10.3238/arztebl.2016.0712

Hypertension prevalence, awareness, treatment and control in Germany 1998 and 2008-11

Neuhauser HK, Adler C, Rosario AS, Diederichs C, Ellert U (2014) J Hum Hypertens ePub Okt 02. doi: 10.1038/jhh.2014.82. [Epub ahead of print]

Pregnancy risk factors for very premature delivery: what role do hypertension, obesity and diabetes play? (Abstract)

Spiegler J, Stichtenoth G, Weichert J, König IR, Schlaud M, v.d. Wense A, Olbertz D, Gurth H, SchiffmannJH, Bohnhorst B, Gortner L, Herting E, Göpel W (2013) Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics 288(1): 57-64. doi: 10.1007/s00404-013-2739-6

Abdominal obesity in German adolescents defined by waist-to-height ratio and its association to elevated blood pressure: The KiGGS Study

Kromeyer-Hauschild K, Neuhauser H, Schaffrath Rosario A, Schienkiewitz A (2013) Obes Facts 2013;6:165–175 DOI: 10.1159/000351066

Blood Pressure Percentiles by Age and Height From Nonoverweight Children and Adolescents in Germany

Neuhauser HK, Thamm M, Ellert U, Hense HW, Schaffrath Rosario A (2011) Pediatrics 127 (4): e978-988. doi:10.1542/peds.2010-1290

National, regional, and global trends in systolic blood pressure since 1980: systematic analysis of health examination surveys and epidemiological studies with 786 country-years and 5.4 million participants

Danaei G et al. Global Burden of Metabolic Risk Factors of Chronic Diseases Collaborating Group (Blood Pressure) (for Germany, Neuhauser H) (2011) Lancet 377 (9765): 568–577. Epub Feb 3. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(10)62036-3

Prevalence of children with blood pressure measurements exceeding adult cutoffs for optimal blood pressure in Germany

Neuhauser HK, Schaffrath Rosario A, Thamm M, Ellert U (2009) Eur. J. Cardiovasc. Prevent. Rehab. 16 (2): 195-200 doi:10.1097/HJR.0b013e3283271e6c

An international comparative study of blood pressure in populations of European vs. African descent

Cooper RS, Wolf-Maier K, Luke A, Adeyemo A, Banegas JR, Forrester T, Giampaoli S, Joffres M, Kastarinen M, Primatesta P, Stegmayr B and Thamm M (2005) BMC Medicine 2005,3:2 doi:10.1186/1741-7015-3-2

Hypertension Treatment and Control in Five European Countries, Canada, and the United States

Wolf-Maier K, Cooper RS, Kramer H, Banegas JR, Giampaoli S, Joffres MR, Poulter N, Primatesta P, Stegmayr B, Thamm M. (2004) Hypertension. 43(1):10-17 · doi: 10.1161/​01.HYP.0000103630.72812.10

Hypertension Prevalence and Blood Pressure Levels in 6 European Countries, Canada, and the United States

Wolf-Maier K, Cooper RS, Banegas JR, Giampaoli S, Hense HW, Joffres MR, Kastarinen M, Poulter N, Primatesta P, Rodriguez-Artalejo F, Stegmayr B, Thamm M et al. (2003) JAMA 289 (18):2363-2369. · doi:10.1001/jama.289.18.2363.