About May Measurement Month
Our Goal: to improve world health through raised awareness around blood pressure
WHAT IS MAY MEASUREMENT MONTH?
May Measurement Month is an initiative led by the International Society of Hypertension (ISH) and endorsed by the World Hypertension League (WHL). It grew out of World Hypertension Day(17thMay), which was launched by the WHL in 2005 to raise awareness of the issues surrounding raised blood pressure. Why? Because raised BP is the number one cause of death worldwide.
May Measurement month has expanded this into a global synchronised screening campaign, which took place for the first time during May 2017. Over 100 countries took part in the inaugural year, with limited resources and relying on the goodwill of MMM’s many volunteers. Over 1.2 million people had their BP measured in 2017, and we reached a further 1.5m people in 2018, making this the world’s largest public blood pressure screening programme ever.
The global breadth of MMM covered vastly differing cultures – including the Philippines, China, India, South America, Africa and parts of Europe including the United Kingdom – with the screenings themselves held in many locations, including hospitals, community centres, schools, supermarkets and factories.
The results of MMM17, our inaugural year, were published on the eve of World Hypertension Day 2018 in a paper in The Lancet Global Health. The paper reported analyses of the data from over 1.2 million screenees in relation to many factors including gender, age, lifestyle and location, but there are still many more questions to answer.
The results from MMM18 are currently being analysed and we hope they will help to generate more information and raise awareness even further.
Professor Neil Poulter, ISH President (2016 -2018), and founder of MMM, stated: “The common desire to increase awareness of the issues surrounding hypertension is what has made this possible. We can often reduce BP with known lifestyle changes and existing drugs, but unless people know they have hypertension they can’t be treated. So, a key objective of MMM is, not only to increase public awareness, but also to collect the scientific evidence needed to help influence global health policy and make BP screening more widely available around the world.”
HOW DID MMM START?
Professor Neil Poulter explains how MMM got started
“Raised blood pressure is the biggest single contributing risk factor for global death and the worldwide burden of disease, and May Measurement Month has already begun to lay strong foundations for significantly increasing public understanding,” stated Professor Poulter.
10.5 million people die each year due to conditions related to high BP – such as heart attacks, strokes and kidney failure – but unless hypertension is detected we cannot treat it to prevent these conditions. According to the PURE* study only 46.5% of people who have hypertension actually know they have it, despite the fact that detection is very simple. It costs very little and takes only a few minutes to measure someone’s BP which if raised can be easily treated. So, unless the public has access to screening which makes them aware, then the impact of effective treatments for controlling hypertension are limited, and that’s where MMM comes in.
“We want May Measurement Month to help turn 46% awareness to 96%. When we reach that level, we can stop.
Thanks to our generous supporters and amazing volunteers, screening sites were set up throughout May 2017 and 2018 in a vast array of venues around the world – from tents to town halls, from remote villages to the heart of some of our biggest cities. Their goal was to screen as many people as possible worldwide who had not had their blood pressure measured in the previous year.
And they achieved that and much more — in some instances, our volunteers were screening people in their sixties or older who had never had their blood pressure measured at any time in their lives. All those found to be suffering from hypertension were given the same clear guidance, wherever in the world they were.
It was a remarkable achievement and we are determined to build on this superb foundation for MMM19.”
HOW CAN I HELP?
Take a look at our News section for some examples of what MMM volunteers have achieved. If you’d like to join us in delivering the 2019 global initiative, please see how you can get involved and we’ll keep you updated.