May Measurement Month launched to raise awareness of high blood pressure

16 May 2017        

Category: BHF Comment

Blood pressure test strap

We are supporting May Measurement Month, a worldwide screening initiative aimed at highlighting the need for increased blood pressure awareness.

High blood pressure or hypertension significantly increases someone’s risk of heart attack and stroke. It’s the biggest risk factor contributing to death worldwide, causing approximately 9.4 million deaths each year and in the UK at least 30 per cent of adults are living with the condition.

May Measurement Month

The campaign is being led by the International Society of Hypertension (ISH) and the World Hypertension League (WHL) and is headed up by actor Will Poulter and his father Neil Poulter, Professor of Preventive Cardiovascular Medicine at Imperial College London and Honorary Consultant Physician at Hammersmith Hospital.

By measuring as many people as possible and highlighting just how big the problem is, the ISH and WHL aim to demonstrate to governments across the world why they need to raise public awareness and provide us all with better blood pressure screening facilities and treatment.

Neil Poulter, Professor of Preventive Cardiovascular Medicine at Imperial College, and Honorary Consultant Physician at Hammersmith Hospital, London, said: 

"People may die suddenly as a result of having high blood pressure, having suffered a heart attack or a stroke. 

“Others are diagnosed with debilitating conditions caused by raised blood pressure such as heart failure or kidney disease and raised blood pressure is also linked with dementia later in life. However, with no symptoms, most people don’t even know they have it and it can strike without any warning.”

What we say

Our Chair and blood pressure Researcher Professor Rhian Touyz, said:

“High blood pressure is potentially deadly as, if untreated, it causes a variety of devastating diseases, such as heart attack and stroke.

“Recent research shows that even a small decrease in blood pressure can reduce stroke and heart diseases by up to 40%, which is why it is so important to know your numbers and urgently seek advice and treatment if needed.

“Only then can we begin to lower the huge impact high blood pressure is contributing to cardiovascular disease deaths worldwide.”

For more information including finding your nearest screening centre, visit:

Find out more about our research into hypertension