Neil Poulter, the president of the International Society of Hypertension encourages members to support May Measurement Month.
Globally, over 10 million people die each year due to raised blood pressure (BP). It is the number 1 contributing risk factor for global death, but because it is usually symptomless, the challenge is to ensure it is detected. According to the PURE* study only 46.5% of people who have levels of BP which we believe need treatment (hypertension), are actually aware of the fact - despite detection being very simple. It costs very little and takes only a few minutes to measure someone’s BP, which if raised, can often be easily treated. Unless the public has access to screening which makes them aware of their BP, then the impact of effective treatments for controlling hypertension are limited.
When I became President of the International Society of Hypertension (ISH) 2 years ago, my main goal was to increase global awareness of hypertension through more screenings – and so May Measurement Month (MMM) was born. Launched last year, MMM is a month-long mass synchronised global BP screening campaign led by the International Society of Hypertension (ISH) and endorsed by the World Hypertension League. It builds on World Hypertension Day, but has been increased to a full month to reflect the scale and importance of the problem. Its aims are two-fold, (1) to increase awareness of the issues surrounding raised BP during the month of May, and (2) to create scientific evidence to inform and influence health policy to provide better access to screening.
Galvanising a global campaign is difficult to achieve with the largest of budgets, yet the BP’s of over 1.2 million people were measured across 100 countries during MMM’s launch year – despite limited resources, thanks largely to the goodwill of many volunteers. In May 2018, we’re going to do it again. We want to continue to do more, so fewer lives are damaged or ended due to raised BP.
We’ve begun promoting this year’s MMM and we’re delighted to have the NPA on board endorsing this important health initiative. They have even offered to support their member pharmacies who offer BP screenings in their pharmacies with promotional t-shirts. We have a range of digital promotional resources available (flyers, posters, fact sheets etc) and we will list any participating pharmacy so they benefit from our publicity campaign designed to drive people to have their BP screened.
We want May Measurement Month to help turn 46.5% awareness to 96%. When we reach that level, we can stop. If you can help us reach our ambitions by offering BP screenings to the general public in your pharmacy, please visit please visit www.maymeasure.com/downloads where you will find a full MMM toolkit, including:
- digital artwork for publicising your pharmacy involvement
- the MMM protocol describing what measurements are required
- details of our MMM app for recording anonymous readings which we will use for scientific analysis
If you have any further questions, please get in touch with Professor Cappuccio, the President of the British and Irish Hypertension Society and Natioanl lead for MMM (F.P.Cappuccio@warwick.ac.uk, cc email@example.com)
Professor Neil Poulter
President of the International Society of Hypertension
* Hypertension: Awareness, Treatment & Control by National Income: 2003 – 2009. PURE Study. Chow et al. JAMA 2013; 310(9):959-68.