Good, healthy habits is something that we try to encourage here at Solaris, whether it is attempting a creamy coconut porridge from our ‘five go-to tips’, which you can check out on our blog here, https://solarishealth.com/social/race-against-time-5-go-tips/, or perhaps it is changing our approach to walking and doing the Active 10 which you can find out more about on our other blog here https://solarishealth.com/social/walking-tall-may/ . These small lifestyle changes can all contribute to achieving and maintaining an ideal blood pressure.
High blood pressure is the number one contributing risk factor for global death, causing about 10,000,000 each year1. It can increase the risk of several and potentially life-threatening conditions including heart and kidney disease3. Known as ‘The Silent Killer’ due to the usual lack of symptoms, it is important to have your blood pressure checked regularly. However, it can be prevented following some of these tips:
1. Regular physical activity
2. Maintaining a healthy weight
3. Eating a balanced diet
4. Reducing salt intake
5. Reducing alcohol consumption
In May 2017, the International Society of Hypertension (ISH) led an initiative, endorsed by the World Hypertension League (WHL), to carry out a free global synchronised screening campaign for high blood pressure, known as May Measurement Month (MMM). Screening sites were set up in over 100 countries, including the UK, with the help of supporters and volunteers who screened over 1.2 million people, making it the largest public blood pressure screening programme in the world1.
This idea arose following the publication of the PURE (Prospective Urban and Rural Epidemiological) study, which showed that across the globe, less than half of the people who had hypertension were aware of it. Treatment rates were found to be low, even amongst those who were aware of their condition, and control rates were worse amongst those being treated2.
The goal of MMM is to raise awareness around blood pressure worldwide and to gather scientific evidence to influence health policy around blood pressure screening. After last year’s success, MMM 2018 has been underway with the hope of continuing to spread awareness and collect data.
Bangladesh is amongst the new countries to take part in this year’s cause, having been backed by their National Heart Foundation. Like other developing countries, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in adults are on the rise in Bangladesh including cardiovascular disease (CVD) of which hypertension is a risk factor. The 2010 report of the National Survey on NCD Risk Factors Bangladesh found that 16.8% of the survey population had Stage I hypertension without medication and 20.3% with medication1. On the 3rd May, screening centres were set up across the country including in the capital of Dhaka.
Last year, The Lancet Global Health published the results of MMM 20174 which was a great success for the initiative. We look forward to seeing the next potential publication.
To find out more about the MMM campaign including the report from last year’s event, you can visit http://maymeasure.com/about/
Perhaps a few of us may want to check our pressure for 2019’s event! We shall update you….
1. May Measurement Month. About May Measurement Month. http://maymeasure.com/about/ (last accessed May 2018)
2. Chow CK et. al. JAMA 2013. 4; 310(9):959-68.
3. NHS Choices. High blood pressure (hypertension). https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/high-blood-pressure-hypertension/ (last accessed May 2018)
4.Beaney T et. al. Lancet Glob Health 2018. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2214-109X(18)30259-6