Lege Artis Medicinae

[Treatment of cardiovascular risk of patients with hypertension: the role of fixed combination amlodipin-atorvastatin therapy in light of recent studies]


MARCH 20, 2011

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2011;21(03)

[Risk factors for cardiovascular disease commonly coexist in patients with hypertension: high blood pressure is accompanied by alterations of lipid and glucose metabolism, obesity or smoking in the vast majority (70-80%) of patients. In the presence of multiple risk factors, the increment of relative cardiovascular risk caused by individual risk factors is not additive but multiplied. Since the ASCOT trial was published, statin therapy is recommended to every hypertensive patients with LDL cholesterol >2.5 mmol/L and at least intermediate cardiovascular risk (Euro SCORE>3%). Some studies show, however, that in daily clinical practice, blood pressure and lipid targets are achieved in a small percentage of patients with hypertension and dyslipidaemia. This is partly due to the fact that borderline alterations of serum cholesterol and their risk-increasing effects are often neglected during the planning of the therapy, and therapeutic adherence and persistence of patients are insufficient. According to new studies, both factors can be improved significantly if the antihypertensive and lipid-lowering treatments are initiated simultaneously, using a single pill with dual effect.]



Further articles in this publication

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Perindopril plus Indapamid CombinAtion blood preSSure reductiOn study (PICASSO)]


[INTRODUCTION - International and Hungarian (JNC-7, ESH/ESC2007 és 2009, MHT 2009) Guidelines suggest a target blood pressure <140/90 mmHg for hypertensive patients, and <130/80 mmHg for those with high/very high cardiovascular risk (e.g. patients with diabetes mellitus, chronic renal disease). It was proved that for achieving the most efficient antihypertensive effect and reducing side effects, thd use of drug combinations is needed in most patients. In Hungary, ACE-inhibitor plus diuretic combination is one of the most frequently used one in Hungary. The aim of the PICASSO study was to evaluate the efficacy and metabolic effects of the fixed combination of high-dose perindopril plus indapamide (Coverex-AS Komb Forte®) in clinical practice of hypertonologists, cardiologists and general practicioners. PATIENTS AND METHODS - Patients with uncontrolled, grade 1 or 2 primary hypertension, age, >18years were involved in the open, 3-month, multicentre, prospective, observational, non-interventional clinical study if the treating physician indicated a combination treatment with higher dose antihypertensive drugs. Blood pressure (also with ABPM), heart rate, metabolic parameters (plasma lipids, blood sugar, Na, K, creatinine, uric acid, GGT) were measured by routine methods, medical history and quality of life parameters were registered on a validated questionnaire. Changes in the above parameters were also separately evaluated in patients with different risk factors or with concomitant diseases. RESULTS - Data of 9683 patients were evaluated (54% women, 46% men, average age 61.8 years). By the end of the therapy used in the study, blood pressure average decreased from 159/93 to 131/80, by ABPM from 145/83 to 126/74 mmHg (24hr averages, systolic/diastolic blood pressure, respectively), the heart rate from 79 to 73 beats/min (p<0,001). Target blood pressure was achieved in 75,4% of patients with no major concomitant disease, but only in 14% of those with a concomitant disease characterised by lower target blood pressure. The diurnal index by ABPM did not change substantially. Clinically significant decreases were found in the plasma levels of total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, triglycerides, fasting glucose and uric acid levels, but there were no major changes in serum levels of HDL-cholesterol, Na, K, and GGT. Quality of life parameters significantly improved by the end of the study. CONCLUSIONS - Combinations of perindopril and indapamide can be successfully and safely used in everyday practice.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Gustav and Alma Mahler ]


Lege Artis Medicinae

[Creatine deficiency - a possible cause of mental retardation]

VOJCEK Eszter, BARÁTH Ákos, SZTRIHA László, TÚRI Sándor, KARG Eszter

[Creatine plays a major role in the energy supply of brain and muscle tissues. In creatine deficiency states, insufficient energy supply of the brain tissue may lead to mental retardation with speech delay and behavioural problems, epilepsy and extrapyramidal symptoms, while that of the muscle tissue might result in hypotonia. Creatine deficiency has been shown to result either from dysfunction of the two enzymes involved in its synthesis, namely arginine:glycine amidinotransferase and guanidinoacetic methyltransferase, or from impairment of the SLC6A8 transporter protein that is responsible for the cellular uptake of creatine. Synthesis disorders can be efficiently treated by creatine supplementation. The therapy is the most efficient if it is started in time, before the development of irreversible damages. Thus, in case of mental retardation associated with delayed speech development or behavioural problems, or epilepsy of unknown origin, diagnostic tests for creatine deficiency are recommended as early as possible. In creatine-transport disorder, the results of treatments to increase the intracellular creatine pool are controversial]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Three Roles: – Chekhov as the Author, the Physician and the Patient]

KISS László

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Clinical reasoning based on Bayes-theorem]

VOKÓ Zoltán

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Hypertension and nephrology

[Association between cyclothymic affective temperament and hypertension]


[Affective temperaments (cyclothymic, hypertymic, depressive, anxious, irritable) are stable parts of personality and after adolescent only their minor changes are detectable. Their connections with psychopathology is well-described; depressive temperament plays role in major depression, cyclothymic temperament in bipolar II disorder, while hyperthymic temperament in bipolar I disorder. Moreover, scientific data of the last decade suggest, that affective temperaments are also associated with somatic diseases. Cyclothymic temperament is supposed to have the closest connection with hypertension. The prevalence of hypertension is higher parallel with the presence of dominant cyclothymic affective temperament and in this condition the frequency of cardiovascular complications in hypertensive patients was also described to be higher. In chronic hypertensive patients cyclothymic temperament score is positively associated with systolic blood pressure and in women with the earlier development of hypertension. The background of these associations is probably based on the more prevalent presence of common risk factors (smoking, obesity, alcoholism) with more pronounced cyclothymic temperament. The scientific importance of the research of the associations of personality traits including affective temperaments with somatic disorders can help in the identification of higher risk patient subgroups.]

Hypertension and nephrology

[Two cases of hyponatremic hypertensive syndrome due to unilateral stenosis of the renal artery]

LAKATOS Orsolya, GYÖRKE Zsuzsanna, VAJDA Péter, JUHÁSZ Zsolt, DEGRELL Péter, SULYOK Endre, MOLNÁR Dénes

[Eighty percent of secondary hypertension in childhood is of a renal cause, and ten percent of these cases are due to renovascular disease. Rarely, unilateral stenosis of the renal artery can lead to hyponatremic hypertensive syndrome as a consequence of critical renal ischemia, which is characterized by serious hypertension, electrolyte disturbances (hyponatremia, hypokalemia), polyuria and increased activity of the renin angiotensin aldosterone system. The authors review the cases of a 27-month-old and a 3-year-old boy, in whom HHS developed due to a severe stricture of the renal artery. With the removal of the nonfunctioning kidney, polyuria and electrolyte disturbances resolved, the level of renin normalised, and anti-hypertensive therapy could be gradually ceased. The authors emphasize that the measurement of blood pressure in children is crucial, especially in cases of polyuria, polydipsia, proteinuria and failure to thrive. Early recognition is very important, and a kidney with a function under ten percent must be removed before hypertension can be stabilized. In case of an electrolyte disturbance associated with hypertension, the possibility of hyponatremic hypertensive syndrome must be considered in childhood as well.]

Lege Artis Medicinae


MASSZI Gabriella

[The physiological changes of menopause are associated with an increase in cardiovascular risk. Cardiovascular diseases lead mortality statistics also in women. Several physiological effects of oestrogen are thought to be protective for the circulatory system. The reasonable idea of hormone replacement therapy, however, has not met the expectations. This article reviews the relevant studies and discusses the possible causes of failure. The second part focuses on the issue of prevention. The Evidence-Based Guidelines for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention in Women, a recommendation developed in the US, is delineated. Hungarian data are provided based on results of the Menokard programme. The paper gives an overview of hormone replacement therapy and cardiovascular prevention in postmenopausal women.]

Hypertension and nephrology

[Therapy resistant hypertension in clinical practice]


[Around 57% of Hungarian hypertensive patients did not reach the goal blood pressure. According to a paper in 2011, the prevalence of resistant hypertension is 2.9-43%. Analyzing only the therapy of hypertensive patients of an Hypertension Outpatient Clinic of the University of Szeged authors wanted to answer these main questions. How many patients were therapeutically resistant by definition? How many patients were taking 3 or more antihypertensive drugs? How many of these patients reached the goal systolis blood pressure values? How many fold drug combinations were used generally? Data were retrospectively collected from 01/01/2011 to 31/08/2011 from the electronic files of the hypertensive patients. Altogether 310 patients’ data were analyzed, of all cases only one visit. If someone returned more times during this period, only the first visit was considered. Means of two measurements were calculated. The goal SBP was 140/ mm Hg. By the definition 234/310 (76%) patients had resistant hypertension in this population (158±17/97±8 mm Hg). Three or more antihypertensive drugs were taken by 257/310 (83%) patients (136±20 mm Hg) and 134 of them (52% of 257 patients) reached the goal. A fourfold combination of antihypertensive agents was the most frequent in this population. It is advised to use multiple drug combinations to reach the goal blood pressure and it is recommended to spend enough but not longer than necessary time to find the most effective combination in every case. In resistant cases it is always necessary to investigate the background of it.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Sarcopenia – muscle loss – pathomechanism, clinical presentation and metabolic comorbidities]


[Sarcopenia, or the age-related involution of muscle strength and muscle mass, is a serious public health concern, due to the growing number of elderly population caused by nowadays demographic changes i.e. prolonged life expectancy. By ageing, the muscle tissue is shrinking gradually, leading to the loss of muscle strength and masses. This condition is called sarcopenia. Sar­co­penia is the simultaneous decrease of muscle mass, muscle strength and functional independence. In parallel the physical performance deteriorates (weakness, slowness and poor physical balancing). Fatigue, el­derly behaviour and weight loss are the consequences of these accumulating deficits, which associate with cognitive decline and result in increasing social isolation. The primary form of sarcopenia is the decrease of the energy production of muscle cells and then the death of muscle cells. Se­con­dary, endocrine dysfunctions, diseases of the nervous system, decreased physical activity, malnutrition or malabsorption, chronic infection accelerate the process and aggravate the patient’s condition. Complex genetic, biochemical and endocrine mechanisms take part in the development of sarcopenia. This involution is due to the impaired balance of restoring and depleting processes of muscles. A questionnaire and algorithm have been developed to recognize, screen and diagnose the risks of sarcopenic condition; these separate the sarcopenic and non-sarcopenic patients with specific cut-off values. Sar­co­penia can be diagnosed based on walking speed, decreased handgrip strength and measured or calculated muscle mass in persons over 65. Sarcopenia can be considered as a phenomenon of “physiological” aging, however, it becomes a disease when diagnostic cut-offs are exceeded and the patient experiences functional disability and declining quality of life. Prevention and treatment of sarcopenia and reducing the risk of falling are based on regular active resistance and coordination exercises. Options for pharmaceutical treatments are limited since despite of identified molecular targets there are no convincingly effective innovative therapy on the horizon. Nevertheless, there are some weak evidence for efficacy of the application of amino acids stimulating muscle cell differentiation, such as leucine or the analogue of beta-hydoxy-methylbutyrate beside exercise therapy.]