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Anton Trstenjak Institute
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VOLUME 11, NUMBER 2, 2008

Arterial hypertension – the silent killer
Primož Dolenc

High blood pressure or arterial hypertension is the most common risk factor for pre-mature cardiovascular disease. Arterial hypertension is often called the silent killer due to often asymptomatic course. Untreated or insufficiently treated hypertension increases the risk for a variety of cardiovascular diseases, including stroke, coronary artery disease and heart failure. With diagnostic evaluation of hypertension we want to evaluate the patient’s blood pressure values and his total cardiovascular risk. Precise blood pressure measurement is the basis for diagnostic evaluation, treatment and follow-up of the patient with arterial hypertension. Home blood pressure measurements are increasingly important part of the patient’s blood pressure evaluation. Frequently, they also improve patient’s adherence to treatment regimens. In hypertensive patients, the primary goal of treatment is to achieve maximum reduction in the long-term total risk of cardiovascular disease. This requires treatment of the raised blood pressure per se as well as of all associated reversible risk factors, and management of the subclinical and clinical organ damage. Blood pressure an be effectively lowered with lifestyle measures, and if necessary, with antihypertensive drugs. In the article the purpose of the World Hypertension Day is also mentioned. World Hypertension Day has been established to highlight the serious medical complications of this condition and to communicate to the public information on prevention, detection and treatment. Knowing your blood pressure is the first step to prevent hypertension, and subsequently to prevent heart disease, stroke and kidney diseases.

Key words: arterial hypertension, blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases, chronic noncommunicable diseases, risk factors.

The experience of family carers of older people in the use of support services in Europe
Giovanni Lamura, Eva Mnich, Beata Wojszel, Mike Nolan, Barbro Krevers, Liz Mestheneos, Hanneli Döhner

This article presents selected findings of the EUROFAMCARE research project, reporting up-to-date information on the use and accessibility of support services for family carers of older people in six European countries representing different typologies of welfare systems (Germany, Greece, Italy, Poland, Sweden and the UK). Data were collected by means of face-to-face interviews to national samples of about 1000 family carers per country (i.e. 6000 in total), based on a common recruitment and data collection protocol. The reported findings reveal the crossnational usage of different support services – subdivided for comparative reasons in the categories of socio-emotional support, information, respite care, training and assessment services – as well as of available care allowances. The analysis includes the perceived experience of carers in using them, in terms of costs sustained, factors affecting service accessibility – i.e. main obstacles and greatest helps in accessing them – as well as reasons for not using (needed) services or for stopping using (still needed) services. Cross-national differences are relevant, showing a greater availability in Northern European countries, where however higher refusal rates by potential users of available services are recorded, possibly in connection to their lack of flexibility and low customisation.

Key words: Family carers of older people, support services, Europcan comparison.

Accepting impermanence – glimpses from Asian cultures
Maja Milčinski

This article deals with methodological challenges of research in Asian philosophies, religions and cultures. Impermanence and its acceptance in Buddhism and Daoism, as well as Japanese philosophical and religious notion mujō is presented in contrast to Heraclitos’ panta rhei. Sacred ecology of Buddhism introduces the differences to the Christian world-view. The actuality of Asian techniques and ways of life-prolongation can be seen in the centres across USA and Europe in which the ancient Asian insights and methods are used in helping and accompanying dying people.

Key words: impermanence, Buddhism, Daoism, death, quality of life.

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