International Society of Hypertension


Hollywood actor Will Poulter is showing his support for May Measurement Month (MMM) in a move to highlight the need for increased blood pressure awareness around the world.

The BAFTA-winning British actor, whose recent film credits include Detroit, The Revenant, The Maze Runner and We’re The Millers, is encouraging the public to take part in the worldwide blood pressure screening initiative with a video campaign for social media starting 1st May.

Will also happens to be the son of Professor Poulter the current President of the International Society of Hypertension, the society leading MMM.

“My passion has always been for performance,” states Will, “but having grown up in a family who are in medicine and who never let me have extra salt (!), I’ve always had a side interest in the field of hypertension. When my dad brought to my attention the fact that 10 million people die every year due to raised blood pressure, I couldn’t ignore what a massive threat this is to the global population and wanted to get involved.

“What is most shocking is that it is estimated that only half of the people who have blood pressure that needs treatment even know about it.”  It costs very little and takes only a few minutes to measure someone’s blood pressure which if raised can usually be easily treated.  However, unless the public has accessto screening which makes them aware, then the impact of effective treatments for controlling high blood pressure is zero, and that’s where MMM comes in.

In 2017 MMM measured the blood pressure of over 1.2 million people across 100 countries in one month – with limited resources, relying on the goodwill of many volunteers. 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.  The screenings themselves were held in many locations, including hospitals, community centres, schools, supermarkets and factories.   During the month, the screenings identified over 140,000 people with previously unidentified hypertension and over 100,000 with inadequately treated hypertension, all of whom can now take action to improve their health.

But there’s still so much more to do and MMM is set to take place again this May across the globe. Professor Poulter stated: “The common desire to increase awareness of the issues surrounding hypertension is what made MMM possible in 2017.   We can often reduce blood pressure 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 evidence needed to help influence global health policy and make screening more widely available around the world.”

Will Poulter stated: “I’m so grateful to get the opportunity to work with my dad on this campaign because I think those within the medical profession do arguably the most important work in the world.  Checking blood pressure is such a simple measure that could really help save lives”

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