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

[Clinical consensus conference on COPD]


Lege Artis Medicinae



[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.]

Lege Artis Medicinae



[For the optimal treatment of heart failure patients with systolic dysfunction, supplementation of the standard diuretics plus neurohormonal antagonists treatment with the direct vasodilator combination dihydralazine+nitrate, as well as with digitalis may be necessary. Addition of hydralazine/dihydralazine+nitrate to the treatment of chronic heart failure is recommended if ACE-inhibitors or angiotensin-receptor blockers cannot be administered. Beta blockers should also be used in these cases. If symptoms persist or worsen, addition of this combination to the standard therapy is reasonable. Supplementation with digitalis, mostly digoxin should be considered in similar conditions. It can be especially beneficial for patients with high-ventricular-rate atrial fibrillation. To achieve maximal survival benefit, the dose of digoxin must not exceed 0.125 mg/day. Low body weight or muscle mass, significantly reduced renal function may make further dose reduction necessary. If renal function is severely limited, digitoxin instead of digoxin may be used.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Addictions in the focus - Readers’ questions answered by dr. János Szemelyácz]


Lege Artis Medicinae



[Acute heart failure may develop in previously healthy hearts. Nevertheless, structural abnormalities can facilitate its development and also, chronic heart failure can progress into acute stage. Considering the total cost of care in the patient's life, this is the most expensive heart disease. The clinical signs and physical abnormalities are usually of diagnostic power, however, instrumental investigations are necessary to recognize complications and to guide therapy. Patients should be monitored in well equipped coronary care units. Therapy consists of medications, coronary revascularization and use of mechanical assist devices.]

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LAM Extra for General Practicioners

[Similarities and differences in the renal effects of statins]


[By efficiently reducing serum cholesterol level, statins significantly decrease both cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Decreasing LDL-cholesterol level by 1% reduces coronary mortality risk by 1%, whereas increasing HDL-cholesterol level by 1% reduces the risk by 3%. At the same time, renal failure significantly increases cardiovascular events and/or mortality compared with the population mean. It is an exciting question whether statins are able to prevent and decelerate the deterioration of kidney function deterioration, preserve GFR and decrease albuminuria. Depending on the strength of their effect, statins have different cholesterol-lowering capacity (rosuvastatin and atorvastatin are especially effective). An important question is whether these differences can be detected in the renal function as well. The results of experimental data and major clinical trials (e.g. AURORA, PLANET I-II, SHARP) are often controversial. Nevertheless, statin therapy has advantages for patients with kidney diseases, although to a lesser extent than it has in the normal population.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[The atherosclerosis can not only be prevented, but also can be cured ]

MÁRK László

[The process of atherosclerosis nowadays plays an important role in the health care not just as a major cause of the most common cardiovascular diseases which lead to death, but also as a major factor in the loss of age-related elasticity in the blood vessels. Over the past two decades, large studies have shown that the treatment of high cholesterol levels can reduce the frequency of cardiovascular events and death and have confirmed the ability to reduce the already existing atherosclerotic plaque, which is almost unique in pharmacotherapy. Using lipid lowering therapy, if we do it properly, we can not only prevent vascular events, but can also cure atherosclerosis. Currently there are three drug groups (statins, ezetimibe and PCSK9- inhibitors), which have complete evidence that their use can reduce the number of cardiovascular events and plaque regression can be achieved. Despite many convincing clinical trials, lipid-lowering therapy is on the cardiovascular prevention palette in the just tolerated or forced applied category. In order to take advantage of its potentials at an appropriate level, as doctors, we have to approach to it by considering its importance. We should communicate to our patients that it’s about a life-long treatment, which not only can reduce the possibility of cardiovascular events, but also can slow down the aging process of the arteries. ]

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

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[The concept of adherence and its significance in osteoporosis]


[Today, in relation to the economical aspects of medical therapies, the patterns of patients’ drug taking have come into focus. One of the important indicators is adherence, which consists of four different concepts concerning faithfulness to therapy: acceptance, concordance, persistance and compliance. In chronic diesases, medical therapy without a certain degree of adherence is no more useful than no therapy at all. A number of international clinical studies show that in osteoporosis, the therapy can only lead to a decrease in the number of fracture in case of sufficient adherence.]