What is MMM?
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 preventable 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 ever public blood pressure screening programme.
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, in 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 Chief Investigator 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.”