Lege Artis Medicinae


NAGY László

JULY 14, 2007

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2007;17(06-07)

[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.]



Further articles in this publication

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Skin lesions as the first symptom of acute hemoblastosis]

TÖRÖK László, CSŐSZ Judit, KLUCSIK Zsolt

Lege Artis Medicinae


dr. DONÁTH Tibor

Lege Artis Medicinae


PAPP Zoltán, BORBÉLY Attila, ÉDES István

[Disturbances in ventricular relaxation may lead to the development of diastolic heart failure. The analysis of left ventricular endomyocardial biopsy specimens may help understand the underlying structural and functional changes. Such analyses have lead to the recognition that at the optimal sarcomere length of the Frank- Starling mechanism (i.e., at 2.2 μm), passive force values of the cardiomyocytes are significantly higher in individuals with diastolic heart failure than in healthy controls. As a probable explanation to this finding, increased expression of the stiffer N2B isoform of the myofilamental titin protein, at the expense of the more elastic N2BA titin isoform, has been recognized. Moreover, decreased phosphorylation of the contractile proteins was also suggested to contribute to the development of diastolic heart failure. These changes together, and along with an increase in extracellular collagen content, may greatly contribute to the relaxation disturbance observed in diastolic heart failure.]

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[The rennin-angiotensin system plays a major role in cardiovascular diseases. In the past decade, extensive research investigated the possible clinical benefit of the use of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors in various clinical conditions. Their benefits have been clearly demonstrated in many cardiovascular conditions and agreement as to their potential usefulness has been established in chronic heart failure, asymptomatic left ventricular dysfunction, acute myocardial infarction and hypertension, and in the primary prevention in patients with high risk for cardiovascular events. Numerous randomised clinical trials over the past two decades established their efficacy in reducing adverse outcomes (mortality, hospitalitazion, and physical limitation) in patients with heart failure and left ventricular systolic dysfunction. Based on these results, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors are indicated in all patients with left ventricular systolic dysfunction regardless of etiology, in the absence of intolerance or a contraindication. Despite the recent improvements in the treatment of heart failure, mortality remains high, with approximately 50% patients dead at five years. Although angiotensinconverting enzyme inhibitors decrease mortality, they incompletely suppress angiotenzin-2 when used chronically. Since angiotensin receptor blockers block the biologic effects of angiotenzin-2 more completely than angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, they may be beneficial in the treatment of heart failure. In comparison trials, angiotensin receptor blockers were found to have no benefit over angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor therapy. Thus, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors should remain first-line treatment for heart failure. However, in case of intolerance, angiotensin receptor blocker therapy is a reasonable substitute and provides excellent tolerability.]

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[The beneficial effects of treatment with betablockers in patients with chronic heart failure have been demonstrated in several large, prospective, randomised, placebo-controlled clinical trials. In large trials with mortality as the endpoint, the long-term use of bisoprolol, carvedilol, nevibolol and metoprolol succinate have been associated with a reduction in total mortality, cardiovascular mortality, sudden cardiac death and death due to progression of heart failure in patients of functional classes II-IV. These favorable clinical experiences warrant a recommendation that beta-blockers should be used in all haemodynamically stable heart failure patients with reduced left ventricular systolic function who are on standard treatment, unless contraindicated. In this review, the most important data of clinical trials and practical considerations of therapy with beta-blockers in heart failure are summarized.]

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[Adherence of Hungarian postmenopausal women with osteoporosis]

LAKATOS Péter, TÓTH Emese, LANG Zsolt, NAGY Bence, SZEKERES László, TAKÁCS István

[INTRODUCTION - Osteoporosis is defined as a loss of bone tissue and bone mass that leads to a compromised trength and quality of bones and thus to an increased risk of fractures. In many women, menopausal hormonal changes are associated with an increased bone loss. This population has postmenopausal osteoporosis. The essence of osteporosis treatment is the adequate calcium and vitamin D supplementation, which, if needed, might be combined with drug therapy to inhibit the process of bone loss. METHODS - We assessed the adherence to therapy of Hungarian patients and its effect on the risk of bone fractures, using data recorded by the National Health Insurance Fund Administration between 2004 and 2010 (n=223068, mean age: 69.9 years). We performed a statistical analyses of the available data. Medication possession ratio (MPR) for each treatment and the ratio of patients receiving continuous treatment in the study period (for 12, 18 and 24 months) were estimated. Medication persistence was investigated using Kaplan-Meier survival analysis. A multivariate Cox proportional hazard model was used to determine the factors influencing the risk of fracture. RESULTS, CONCLUSION - The results of our study show that medication adherence to treatment is low among Hungarian patients [mean MPR: 57.9%; 95% CI (57.7%- 58.0%) and persistence rate: 32.4%; 95% CI (32.2%-32.6%) in the first year]. These parameters are substantially influenced by the administration route and the frequency of treatments [mean MPR ranged 41.5%- 100% and persistence rates ranged 18.8%- 100% in the first year, differences between subgroups were significant (p<0,05)]. Our compliance as well as persistance studies showed that parenteral administration had more beneficial effects. Confirming our preliminary hypotheses, the improvement of patient compliance significantly reduced fracture risk (good compliance was defined as MPR>80%, which was associated with RR: 0.57, p<0.05 for fracture risk). Further improvement might be achieved by parenteral administration [RR for fracture risk 0.60 compared with non-compliant patients and 0.44 compared with compliant subgroups treated with oral and parenteral medications (p<0.05)].]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Hungarian Hypertension Study - EMMA]

NAGY Viktor, HORVÁTH Attila, MOLNÁR Katalin, BLASKÓ György, DE Châtel Rudolf

[INTRODUCTION - Ischaemic heart disease and stroke show rapidly increasing incidence and lead mortality statistics in developed countries. Hypertension is the main risk factor for both diseases. With the support of Hungarian Society of Hypertension we performed a public opinion survey on hypertension and on the medicines of its treatment among Hungarian adults between October and December 2001. SUBJECTS AND METHODS - The Omnibus investigation using standardised questionnaires was carried out by monthly home interviews of 5000 participants. RESULTS - One aim of the study was to determine the prevalence of hypertension and the usage of drugs in the population over 35 years. Persistent high blood pressure had been diagnosed in 39% of these population (n=1360). When choosing drugs the lack of side effects is the most important characteristic beside efficacy in this age group. As the study results show, physicians consider regular blood pressure control and screening programs as most important factors for patients with hypertension. CONCLUSION - The results of EMMA study revealed habits and attitudes of regular drug intake. Results also outline the characteristics of the desirable drug that are best accepted by patients - drugs, which patients are faithful to.]

Hypertension and nephrology

[The importance of statin therapy in hypertension]

PARAGH György, PÁLL Dénes

[Hypertension and hypercholesterolaemia often co-occur and promote early cardiovascular disease. Previous studies have shown that antihypertensive treatment may be more effective if LDL cholesterol is also reduced. This may be due to the increased expression of angiotensin-1 receptor in hypercholesterolaemia, which increases peripheral vascular resistance through angiotensin-2, and adversely affects endothelial and smooth muscle cells. Other authors indicate that high cholesterol levels increase the production of angiotensin-2 through the activation of the chymase system. High cholesterol levels increase the amount of circulating oxidized LDL which binds to the transmembrane oxidized LDL receptor (LOX- 1) also activates the angiotensin-1 receptor. In addition, angiotensin-2 has an effect on intracellular cholesterol synthesis by enhancing the key enzyme of the synthesis of intracellular cholesterol, HMG-CoA reductase. The authors present the studies that support cholesterol lowering can contribute to lowering blood pressure and other major meta-analyses in which the beneficial effects of cholesterol lowering and lipid lowering on blood pressure reductions were not proven. In the background, it may well be that these studies are not designed to evaluate the effect of cholesterol-lowering drugs on hypertension in patients with hypercholesterolaemia, and non-statin-treated patients are not randomized.]

Hypertension and nephrology

[What you need to know about the influence of abnormal lipid profiles. - New experiences]


[Statins represent the most important drug among antilipidemic therapy modalities playing dominant roles against atherosclerotic burden. Statin’s outstanding importance is due partly to cholesterol lowering capacity, however their anti-inflammatoric, antiproliferative, antioxidant and vasodilatative efficacies as a pleiotropic potential indicates much more impact on prompt retardation of atherosclerotic progression. The results concerning statin pleiotropic influence are reviewed which are in association with their new indication in ACS management. The second part of this review delineates suspected side effects of statin use. Only one concern brings safety information: it is a fact that patients being treated with statins may have a small increased risk of increased blood sugar levels and of being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes mellitus, but the cardiovascular and mortality benefits of statin therapy exceed the diabetes hazard.]

Lege Artis Medicinae


MÁRK László

[A large number of studies have proved that in acute coronary syndrome the administration of statins improves clinical outcome by their lipid lowering effect, and also by stabilizing the plaque as part of their pleiotropic effects. An important question regarding statin therapy is when it should be introduced after the onset of symptoms. Studies on this issue agree that statin therapy should be initiated right after the onset of acute symptoms. If the patient is already receiving statin, we must make sure it is not abandoned. According to current Hungarian guidelines, for patients with acute coronary syndrome the target level of the low density lipoprotein cholesterol is 1.8 mmol/l.]