World Hypertension Day 2015: Daiichi Sankyo “Makes Your Heart Feel Good!” with a pan-European charity initiative

World Hypertension Day 2015: Daiichi Sankyo “Makes Your Heart Feel Good!” with an educational dance programme

  • Each year, May 17th is World Hypertension Day (WHD).
  • The 2015 theme is to screen over one million people for WHD-2015 in alliance with heightened awareness of non-communicable diseases (NCD).
  • To support WHD 2015, Daiichi Sankyo is rolling out an awareness raising campaign, “Make Your Heart Feel Good!” Pan-European dance initiative.
  • WHD helps to raise awareness of high blood pressure which is responsible for an estimated 9.4 million deaths worldwide every year [1].

Munich, 13 May 2015 – A novel dance programme sponsored by DAIICHI SANKYO EUROPE has been endorsed by the Atrial Fibrillation Association (AFA) and the Italian Society of Cardiovascular Disease Prevention (SIPREC) as a useful and enjoyable way to make your heart feel good. This educational programme is available both online and on DVD and is launched today, for World Hypertension Day (WHD), bringing together the glamorous and fun world of ballroom dance with the serious nature of disease management. The programme shows that regardless of your age and fitness levels, dance can encourage you to take better care of your heart health.

One billion people world-wide are suffering from uncontrolled high blood pressure [2]. Whether patients are worried about the risk of developing cardiovascular problems, or just want to do everything possible to help prevent issues, dancing, or in fact any kind of physical exercise, has shown to help support heart health [3]. Around 80 per cent of coronary heart disease cases can be attributed to behavioural risk factors, such as physical inactivity, smoking, and an unhealthy diet [4]. These are all controllable factors that can be reduced through lifestyle changes.

Professor Massimo Volpe, Professor and Chair of Cardiology and Director of the Specialty School in Cardiovascular Disease, at the University of Rome “La Sapienza”, who has supported this programme comments; “Research has shown that, getting regular exercise is extremely important for people wishing to prevent the progression of cardiovascular issues and something that they can do to help themselves, and dancing is a fun, beneficial form of exercise”.

Dr. Gerard Akkerhuis, Senior Vice President DAIICHI SANKYO EUROPE, comments; “This educational programme is an important step to help improve patients’ quality of life. It is just one way we can raise awareness of the management of hypertension and encourage sufferers to keep active for longer”.

In 2011, Strictly Come Dancing, the television phenomenon, which has been syndicated around the world, brought professional dancer Flavia Cacace together with celebrity Russell Grant, who has graced British television, theatre and radio for many years. In the television show they won the hearts of the viewing public. In this programme they show how easy it is to follow dance movements that are multi-directional and help with mobility and flexibility. “None of the dance moves are too energetic, so the steps should be as easy for patients to learn as they were for me,” says Russell Grant. “Just by watching this and learning the dance routines you’ve taken the first steps towards improving your quality of life”.

Trudie Lobban MBE, who is the Founder and CEO of the international charity, the Atrial Fibrillation Association and Founder and Trustee of the Arrhythmia Alliance (The Heart Rhythm Charity) commented, “we are thrilled to see Russell’s participation in this programme, as he shows how immensely enjoyable this programme is and also how it is accessible to all, regardless of age and ability. Our association was delighted to endorse a programme that would clearly benefit patients as they continue to practice”.

The programme has been subtitled into the following languages: French, Italian, German, Turkish, Dutch and Spanish. Patients are advised to consult their physician or healthcare practitioner before undertaking any form of physical exercise.



Global Recommendations on Physical Activity for Health

This programme was developed to support recommendations made by the World Health Authority for physical activity for health that state:

  1. Adults aged between 18 and 65 years should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week, or do at least 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week, or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity activity.
  2. For additional health benefits, adults aged 65 years and above should increase their moderate- intensity aerobic physical activity to 300 minutes per week, or engage in 150 minutes of vigorous- intensity aerobic physical activity per week, or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous- intensity activity. [5]


About Daiichi Sankyo

Daiichi Sankyo Group is dedicated to the creation and supply of innovative pharmaceutical products to address the diversified, unmet medical needs of patients in both mature and emerging markets. While maintaining its portfolio of marketed pharmaceuticals for hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and bacterial infections, the Group is engaged in the development of treatments for thrombotic disorders and focused on the discovery of novel oncology and cardiovascular-metabolic therapies. Furthermore, the Daiichi Sankyo Group has created a “Hybrid Business Model,” which will respond to market and customer diversity and optimise growth opportunities across the value chain. For more information, please visit:


About Daiichi Sankyo Europe

Daiichi Sankyo’s European base is located in Munich and has affiliates in 12 European countries in addition to a global manufacturing site located in Pfaffenhofen, Germany. For more information, please visit:


Forward-looking statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements and information about future developments in the sector, and the legal and business conditions of Daiichi Sankyo Europe GmbH. Such forward-looking statements are uncertain and are subject at all times to the risks of change, particularly to the usual risks faced by a global pharmaceutical company, inclu¬ding the impact of the prices for products and raw materials, medication safety, changes in exchange rates, government regulations, employee relations, taxes, political instability and terrorism as well as the results of independent demands and governmental inquiries that affect the affairs of the company. All forward-looking statements contained in this release hold true as of the date of publication. They do not represent any guarantee of future performance. Actual events and developments could differ materially from the forward-looking statements that are explicitly expressed or implied in these statements. Daiichi Sankyo Europe GmbH assumes no responsibility for the updating of such forward-looking statements about future developments of the sector, legal and business conditions and the company.


Affiliate and Brand Management
Dr. Iris Marr
Phone +49 89 7808 264


[1]World Health Organization. A global brief on hypertension: silent killer, global public health crisis. World Health Day 2013. Report, 1–39. 2013. Geneva, Switzerland, World Health Organization.
World Health Organization (WHO). Global Health Observatory (GHO), Raising Blood Pressure: Situation and Trends. Available at: (last accessed October 2014).
[2]World Health Organization (WHO). Global Recommendations on Physical Activity for Health. Available at: (last accessed October 2014).
[3]World Health Organization (WHO). Cardiovascular disease factsheet no. 317. Jan 2011. (last accessed October 2014).
[4]World Health Organization (WHO). Global Recommendations on Physical Activity for Health. Available at: (last accessed October 2014).
[5]World Health Organization (WHO). Cardiovascular disease factsheet no. 317. Jan 2011. (last accessed October 2014).

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