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05 May 2017

Media release

Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute has joined a global effort to measure the blood pressure levels of 25 million adults in more than 100 countries throughout the month of May.

May Measurement Month, led by the International Society of Hypertension and the World Hypertension League, represents one of the largest public screening initiatives in the world.

Every year, 10 million people around the world die because of high blood pressure, making it the planet’s single biggest killer. They will suffer a stroke, have a heart attack, or die from another cardiovascular complication linked to high blood pressure. And the real tragedy is that only around half of those who die this way will have known they had raised blood pressure.

Head of the Institute’s Preclinical Disease and Prevention unit, Associate Professor Melinda Carrington says the large amount of data collected will be used to gauge how big the problem of elevated blood pressure is, and will enable peak bodies to lobby government to make people more aware about the dangers of high blood pressure and provide resources for better blood pressure screening and management.

She says the goal is to screen 250,000 people in Australia to contribute to this global effort.

A/Prof Carrington says high blood pressure was a major area of concern highlighted in the Baker Institute’s report ‘Change of Heart – time to end cardiovascular complacency’ presented at Parliament House late last year.

The report found that many Australians with high blood pressure were not being successfully treated, leaving them at high risk of stroke and heart attack.

“It is imperative that people understand the importance of high blood pressure, the potentially deadly outcomes, and know what their blood pressure level is,” A/Prof. Carrington says.

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