HEALTH & FITNESS
Initiative launched to measure hypertension burden globally
Aiming to measure the actual burden of people with hypertension globally, several health bodies, including the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), on Monday launched May Measurement Month -- an initiative to screen Blood Pressure (BP) cases -- to tackle the global epidemic.
As part of the initiative, the International Society of Hypertension (ISH) and the World Hypertension League (WHL) will get volunteer countries, government and municipal corporations from May 1 to May 31, 2017 to screen 25 million people globally.
The project will be conducted in accordance with all national and international ethics guidelines. The data from each country will be analysed along with the results of millions of others worldwide. The results will be announced once the analysis is complete to form a blue-print action plan to tackle hypertension globally.
Hypertension or high blood pressure (HBP) is a major public health problem in globally and its prevalence is rapidly increasing among both urban and rural populations. In India, 2.6 lakh people die annually due to hypertension. In fact, hypertension is now the most prevalent chronic disease in India.
This underlines the need for its effective management and control and it highlights the huge impact it can have on the burden of cardiovascular diseases.
"Raised blood pressure is the biggest single contributing risk factor for global death and the worldwide burden of disease, and we want May Measurement Month to lay strong foundations for significantly increasing public understanding," said President of the International Society for Hypertension (ISH) Neil Poulter.
The goal for May Measurement Month is, therefore, to screen as many people as possible worldwide who have not had their blood pressure measured in the previous year.
In India, the drive will be conducted at over 500 sites across the country aiming to measure 2.5 million people that will contribute to the global cross-sectional survey of men and women aged 18 to 65, who have not had their BP measured ever, or since April 30, 2016.
"Through this initiative we not only aim to raise awareness of the public in general, but also inculcate regular BP monitoring amongst physicians, in addition to developing better policy and guidelines to tackle hypertension and NCDs in India," said Saumya Swaminathan, Director General of Indian Council of Medical Research.
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