07:42pm Monday 01 June 2020

Tackling the global burden of hypertension


Health experts and policy makers from overseas and Australia will gather at the 7th AMREP World Health Day Forum to find ways to tackle the variety of health issues associated with hypertension, currently affecting an estimated 1 billion people worldwide. 

A keynote address will be delivered by the president of the Public Health Foundation of India and the World Heart Federation, Dr K. Srinath Reddy, as well as Monash University’s, Professor Amanda Thrift, Head of the Epidemiology and Prevention Division, Stroke and Ageing Research, in the Southern Clinical School, who will discuss ways to improve the control of hypertension in rural India.

Professor Thrift said hypertension was a major public health concern globally because of its high prevalence.

“Hypertension is a silent killer. If left untreated, hypertension can lead to serious health issues, including heart disease, heart attack, heart failure, stroke, kidney failure and a variety of other conditions,” Professor Thrift said.

“The risk of developing high blood pressure can be reduced by maintaining a healthy lifestyle such as reducing salt (sodium) intake as part of a balanced diet, regular physical activity, maintaining optimal body weight, and reducing alcohol intake.

“This forum provides an opportunity to educate the public, promote collaboration among health experts, guide policy, and ultimately reduce deaths and illness from high blood pressure.”

Professor Thrift said hypertension was mainly associated with high income countries but there were now more people with hypertension in low and middle income countries.

“Urbanisation has had a major role in the increasing prevalence of hypertension in low and middle income countries, Professor Thrift.

“The introduction of processed and fast-food has further exacerbated the problem. This has resulted in changes to dietary patterns and also changes to other factors that influence blood pressure, such as physical inactivity.”

Key note presenters also include Victorian Minister for Health and Ageing, David Davis, Professor John Chalmers from the George Institute, Professor KR Thankappan, currently head of the Achutha Menon Centre of the Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology in South India, NHMRC China-Australia Research Fellow Dr Xuefeng Zhong, Director of the Institute of Health Education in China, and Alfred V. Bartlett, Director of the Saving Newborn Lives Program at Save the Children.

The AMREP World Health Day Forum is hosted annually by the Alfred Medical Research and Education Precinct (AMREP) – a partnership between Monash University, The Alfed, Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, Burnet Institute, La Trobe University and Deakin University.

The ‘7th AMREP World Health Day Forum’ will be held on Thursday 11 April from 9am – 5pm at the AMREP Lecture Theatre – 75 Commercial Road, Melbourne.

For further information or to register for this event, please email [email protected] or visit the Monash University website.

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