Hypertension and nephrology

[Wearing a face mask: effect on a doctor – patient relationship. Complicating factors and their compensations]

VONYIK Gabriella1, FARKAS Martin1, TURNER Andrea1, FINTA Ervin2, BORSZÉKI Judit1

NOVEMBER 04, 2020

Hypertension and nephrology - 2020;24(5)

DOI: https://doi.org/10.33668/hn.24.021

[Wearing face masks plays an important role to effectively decrease the chance of transmitting respiratory diseases. Face masks commonly worn during the Covid-19 pandemic to shield the mouth and the nose, cover about 60- 70% of the area of the face that is crucial for the effective verbal and nonverbal communication and perception of mental states. Face masks may complicate social interaction especially in the medical setting where communication skills and doctor-patient relationship are essential to primary care consultations. Literature was reviewed on the impact of such face masks on effective doctor and patient communication as well as useful alternative ways are suggested to compensate them in order to maintain the effective doctor-patient interaction.]


  1. Szent Imre Egyetemi Oktatókórház, Pszichiátriai Osztály, Budapest
  2. Szent Imre Egyetemi Oktatókórház, VIP-1 Profil, Budapest



Further articles in this publication

Hypertension and nephrology

[Hypertension and Covid-19 - part II.]


[The authors review those components and mechanisms in the two major regulatory systems of circulation and inflammation-coagulation whose internal balance and interactions are pathologically altered during SARS-CoV-2 infection, thereby enhancing lung and systemic inflammation threatening to enter into severe clinical condition. They examine the question of how – in addition to potentially promoting the coronavirus cellular entry and penetration – the RAS inhibitor therapy affects these changes and whether can be supposed difference between the anti-/pro-inflammatory influence of ACEi and ARB treatment of old hypertensive patients representing a remarkably high proportion of victims in COVID-19 epidemic. The paper is focussing to the pathomechanical background of inflammation beyond the direct immunological response to the infection: to the significance of immunological alterations characterizing old hypertensive patients also in basic condition, and to the key components as angiotensin II, ACE2, angiotensin1-7, bradykinin, ARB and ACEi. In conclusion a consideration on optimal point of action is offered in RASi treated and SARS-CoV-2 infected (old) hypertensive patients.]

Hypertension and nephrology

[The role of stress management in the care of hypertension and the treatment of cardiovascular disease]

SOMOGYI Éva, KISS Zoltán, STAUDER Adrienne

[The aim of this paper is to give an overview of the relationship between stress and hypertension and cardiovascular diseases, furthermore to introduce an evidence based stress management intervention available in Hungary. The correlation between cardiovascular disease and psychosocial factors (including concomitant mental disorders as well as personality traits or the effect of social environment) has been established in numerous studies aimed at investigating pathogenesis or various clinical endpoints. The 2016 Guidelines of the European Society of Cardiology include the assessment and the management of psychosocial problems with behavioral medicine interventions as a I.A level recommendation. The implementation of these guidelines in everyday clinical practice is crucial to decrease cardiovascular risk. This involves the training of health care professionals, the facilitation of multidisciplinary collaboration and the integration of behavioral intervention into everyday care. The Williams Life Skills (WLS) program is an evidence based behavioral medicine intervention aiming to improve stress management and communication skills which implemented internationally and also available all over Hungary. It involves the learning of simple coping strategies that facilitate the successful management of every day psychosocial stress situations and the self-conscious reduction of bodily and psychological tensions. In cardiovascular disease, this improves quality of life and survival. The WLS program is especially recommended for healthcare workers to decrease the negative health consequences of their high stress load and to prevent burnout. Stress may affect both doctors and patients during their interactions. Bálint groups have a positive impact on the physician-patient collaboration and help to reduce burnout by improving the understanding of the diseases from a more complex approach.]

Hypertension and nephrology

[Covid-19 and the diabetes mellitus]


[In late 2019 the epidemic of new coronavirus disease (Covid-19) from Wuhan, China, posed major challenges to the health systems of even the most developed countries. High mortality of the disease has been observed mainly in the elderly and in those with various cardiovascular and metabolic comorbidities. In this summary, the relationship between diabetes mellitus]

Hypertension and nephrology

[Some key presentations from the 57th (virtual) Congress of ERA / EDTA]


Hypertension and nephrology

[The ACE2-Ang(1-7)-Mas axis as a new option for lowering blood pressure]


[The ACE2-Ang(1-7)-Mas axis counterbalances the ACE/Ang II-AT1R axis in our body in order to maintain normal homeostasis. During the Covid-19 pandemic, this protective system came to the fore again and its beneficial effects on the cardiovascular-metabolic system, including the significant antihypertensive effect, are being clarified. In our brief summary, we analyze the essential aspects of this research.]

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Clinical Oncology

[Actual place and role of communication in Hungarian oncology]

MUSZBEK Katalin, GAAL Ilona

[The move to shared decision model from the patriarchal model of doctor-patient relationship is a communication challenge for doctors and patients as well. Communication is extremely important in Oncology, because the suggestive effect of every action of doctors and nurses is outstanding in this fi eld of healthcare. This burden has to urge professionals to self-improvement. One of the most important success of the Doctor-Patient Relationship program of the Hungarian Hospice Foundation since its launch in 2014 is the statement of two clinical centres on the importance of communication skills in everyday praxis, and engaging themselves in self-improvement. The successful cooperation also depends on patients and their care-givers not just on professionals. To gain all the necessary information is a learning process for them; even as to fi nd out the depth of information and decision level they wish. The patient who is satisfied with his or her own communication in healthcare is less distressed than the one who feels like adrifting. That gives the sense of achievement to professionals as well.]

Lege Artis Medicinae


NAGY László

[Controlled clinical studies on statins have produced evidence that the aggressive lowering of LDL-cholesterol (LDL-C) level reduces the mortality rate of ischaemic heart disease. About 40% of treated patients achieve the cholesterol target level. The observance of medication instructions on a daily basis (compliance) and willingness for long-term taking of the drug (persistence) are crucially important to avoid severe complications. In the long term, patients take only about 50% of their medicines according to the instructions. As a result of the generally poor compliance and persistence in taking the medications, the decrease in morbidity and mortality observed in clinical studies do not occur under real-life conditions. Patients with poor compliance (<80%) will experience only a minimal health benefit and the cost-effectiveness of the therapy will markedly decrease. For patients with poor persistence who discontinue their treatment before benefits at the clinical endpoints could manifest, the resources invested into the therapy will be lost. Both compliance and persistence deteriorate as the number of concurrently taken medicines increases. Since less than 50% of the programmes aimed at improving patient co-operation are successful, therapeutic decisions should preferably be made by taking into consideration the expected compliance/persistence already at the time of choosing the medication. By widening the use of fixed-dose combination therapies, the efficiency of treatment can substantially be increased in patients who concurrently take several medicines and require aggressive lowering of blood pressure or LDL-C level.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Long-term CPAP compliance among Sleep Apnea Patients at the Sleep Laboratory of the Hungarian Defense Forces Medical Center ]


[Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) is the most common sleep disorder, with a prevalence of 2-4% in the overall popula­tion. It is a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases and its daytime symptoms significantly impair the patients’ quality of life and increase the risk of work and road accidents. Its first-line treatment is the CPAP device (Continuous Positive Airway Pres­sure) the effectiveness of which is significantly determined by the compliance of the patient. Although the issue of compliance in such treatment is a very important factor, long-term studies including a large number of patients have not been published yet, and there are no known data about it in Hungary. OBJECTIVE - Examining the long-term compliance of CPAP among OSAS patients in a sleep laboratory in Hungary. METHOD - 3403 OSAS patients were selected for our study between January 1, 2007, and September 30, 2017. The diagnosis and titration of effective CPAP pressure were determined by polysomnography. Patients were controlled after 2 months of therapy and then every 6 and 12 months. During the care, their compliance value was determined by data downloaded from their device's memory card. RESULTS - The mean age (± SD) of patients was 59.0 (± 10.5) years, most of them were male, 2676 (78.6%), their average body mass index (BMI) was 32.6 (± 5.25) kg/m2, their average Epworth Sleepiness Scale score was 11.4 (± 5.0), their average Apnea-Hypopnoe index was 51.0 (± 19.5) events/hour. The average usage time of the CPAP device was 5.0 (± 1.9) hours. 72.3% of the patients used the device for over 4 hours and 27.7% used it for less than 4 hours. 34.7% of the patients used the device for more than 6 hours. The Epworth Sleepiness Score showed a significant and dose-dependent improvement over CPAP treatment, with a greater improvement among patients who used the machine for longer hours. The highest score improvement was achieved by users who used CPAP between 6-7 hours, averaging 7.3 (± 3.2) points (p <0.001). CONCLUSIONS - Our present study shows that high average compliance can be achie­ved among well-adjusted and well-maintained patients. ]

Hypertension and nephrology

[Covid-19 and the kidney]

PATÓ Éva, DEÁK György

[Covid-19 pandemy has emerged from Wuhan, China in December 2019. The infection affects not only the lung but other organs such as the kidney, as well. The relation between Covid-19 infection and the kidney is bidirectional. On one hand, Covid-19 infection may cause kidney damage in 50-75% of the cases resulting in proteinuria, haematuria and acute kidney injury (AKI). The etiology of AKI is multifactorial. Main pathogenic mechanisms are direct proximal tubular cell damage, sepsis-related haemodinamic derangement, citokine storm and hypercoagulability. The virus enters proximal tubular cells and podocytes via the ACE2 receptor followed by multiplication in the lysomes and consequential cell lesion. Histopathology shows acute tubular necrosis and acute tubulointerstitial nephritis. AKI is a strong predictor of mortality in critically ill patients. On the other hand, the risk of Covid-19 infection and mortality is substantially increased in patients with chronic kidney disease – especially in those with a kidney transplant or on dialysis – due to their immunocompromised status. Among haemodialysis patients, infection may spread very easily due to the possibility of getting contacted in the ambulance car or at the dialysis unit. The mortality rate of patients on renal replacement therapy with Covid-19 infection is 20-35%. In order to avoid mass infection it is obligatory to employ preventive measures and implement restricions along with (cohors) isolation of infected patients. In Hungary, every dialysis or kidney transplant patient with Covid-19 infection should be admitted to dedicated Covid-19 wards.]

Hypertension and nephrology

[Hypertension and Covid-19 – Part I. Significance of age, underlying diseases, and ACEI/ARB therapy in hypertension and co-morbidities during SARS-Cov2 infection]


[The appearance of the Covid-19 epidemic in different continents shows specific clinical features. Confirmed infected patients are detectable from approximately 30 years, with a maximum between 40 and 70 years of age. At the same time, however, a significant proportion of those who die from the infection come from patients over 65 years. The prevalence and mortality rates of the hypertensive population show a very similar formation. Based on the data collected, it is not surprising that hypertension as the underlying disease in the Covid- 19 epidemic is the first in all analysis. A more precise analysis clarified that it is not hypertension per se, but co-morbidities and complications of hypertension that play a primary role behind large-scale mortality in old age, such as diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, heart failure, and chronic kidney disease. Data from China, North America, and Italy suggest that hypertension and diabetes – and in North America, pathological obesity – in infected patients actually only reflect the prevalence of these diseases in a given population. The presence of comorbidities (coronary artery disease, stroke, heart failure, arrhythmia, chronic kidney disease) – based on multivariate logistic regression analysis – presents a more risk for severe clinical course and mortality. Some recent analyses have provided strong evidence that ACEI/ARB treatment does not pose a higher risk for the course or outcome of infection. Their administration is constantly needed in hypertension and comorbidities due to their organ protective and slowing the progression of diseases.]