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May Measurement Month – May 2023

May Measurement Month is celebrated in May yearly. It is a global campaign run by the International Society of Hypertension (I.S.H) to raise awareness about the need for people to check their blood pressure. Hypertension is a condition caused when the force exerted by circulating blood against the walls of the arteries and major blood vessels in the body is too high. An estimated 1.28 billion adults aged 30 to 79 years worldwide have hypertension, with most (two-thirds) living in low- and middle-income countries. With the high prevalence of this condition, it is necessary to continually measure our blood pressure to control it well.

History of May Measurement Month

Hypertension is a condition that is as old as humans. The condition is more prevalent in adults, and an estimated 46% of adults with hypertension are unaware that they have the condition. Less than half of adults (42%) with hypertension are diagnosed and treated, and approximately 21% of adults have it under control. The work of a Physician, William Harvey, in understanding the cardiovascular system is where the modern history of hypertension begins. Harvey described the circulation of blood in his book “De Motu Cordis” in 1628. In 1733, English Clergyman Stephen Hales made the first published measurement of blood pressure to add further strides in the world of cardiovascular treatment. Over the years, several people gave descriptions of what would come to be called hypertension. Amongst them are Thomas Young in 1808 and Richard Bright in 1836.

Bright noted a link between kidney disease and cardiac hypertrophy (increase and growth of muscle cells), and subsequently, kidney disease was often termed Bright’s disease in that period. In 1850, George Johnson made the suggestion that the thickened blood vessels seen in the kidney in Bright’s disease might be due to the kidney trying to adapt to elevated blood pressure levels. In 1855 and 1856, respectively, William Senhouse and Ludwig Traube suggested that based on pathological findings, elevated blood pressure levels could account for the association between left ventricular hypertrophy to kidney damage in Bright’s disease.

Then, physician Samuel Wilks believed that left ventricular hypertrophy and diseased arteries were not necessarily associated with diseased kidneys, implying that high blood pressure might occur in people with healthy kidneys. Frederick Akbar Mahomed, in 1874, used a sphygmograph to give the first report of elevated blood pressure in a person without evidence of kidney disease.

May Measurement Month timeline

1628
The Circulation of Blood

Harvey describes the circulation of blood in his book “De Motu Cordis.”

1733
The First Published Measurement

Hales makes the first published measurement of blood pressure.

1836
Kidney Disease and Cardiac Hypertrophy

Bright links kidney disease and cardiac hypertrophy.

1874
Dissociated from Blood Pressure

Mahomed uses a sphygmograph to report elevated blood pressure in a person without evidence of kidney disease.

May Measurement Month FAQs

What country has the highest rate of hypertension?

Paraguay has the highest rate of hypertension globally, with about a prevalence rate of 62%.

Can hypertension be cured?

It is a chronic disease and can be controlled with medication, but it cannot be cured.

What are the four stages of hypertension?

Hypertension has four stages: normal, prehypertension (mild), stage 1 (moderate), and stage 2 (severe).

How to Observe May Measurement Month

  1. Check your blood pressure

    Observe the day by checking your blood pressure. This helps you stay on top when it comes to your health.

  2. Spread awareness

    Spread awareness to observe the day. As many adults are living with hypertension and don’t know about it, it presents a good avenue to spread awareness and drive education on hypertension.

  3. Donate to a hospital

    Donate to a hospital to observe the day. It helps in the fight against the menace called hypertension.

5 Important Facts About Hypertension

  1. High blood pressure is linked to dementia

    Evidence shows that not controlling high blood pressure during midlife creates a higher risk for dementia later in life.

  2. Young people can have high blood pressure

    You might want to start checking your blood pressure because about four out of 10 adults aged 20 to 44 live with high blood pressure.

  3. High blood pressure rarely shows symptoms

    It is usually called “the silent killer” as it shows no symptoms.

  4. Not many know their blood pressure status

    About one in three adults with high blood pressure in the U.S aren’t aware they have it and are not being treated to control their blood pressure.

  5. High blood pressure can affect pregnancy

    Pregnant women with high blood pressure are more likely to have complications during pregnancy than those with normal blood pressure.

Why May Measurement Month is Important

  1. It raises awareness

    May Measurement Month helps to raise awareness about hypertension. It encourages people to go check their blood pressure, which could later be a life-saving decision.

  2. It drives education

    As a lot of people do not know how to prevent or manage high blood pressure, May Measurement Month helps to drive education on its prevention and management. Make a point to go get tested for hypertension. The sooner, the better.

  3. It encourages healthy living

    With the activities that take place during May Measurement Month, healthy living is encouraged. Watching salt intake, having regular physical activity, and eating healthy food help to fight hypertension.

May Measurement Month dates

YearDateDay
2023May 1Monday
2024May 1Wednesday
2025May 1Thursday
2026May 1Friday
2027May 1Saturday
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