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Lege Artis Medicinae

MARCH 10, 2020

[Primary care strategy of antihypertensive treatment of very elderly and frail patients]

TORZSA Péter, KALABAY László, CSATLÓS Dalma, HARGITTAY Csenge, MÁRKUS Bernadett, MOHOS András, SZIGETI Mátyás, FERENCI Tamás, MARJOLEIN Verschoor, ROZSNYAI Zsofia, JACOBIJN Gussekloo, ROSALINDE K. E. Poortvliet, SVEN Streit

[BACKGROUND - When treating very el­der­ly and frail hypertensive patients, there have to be taken in account the general health condition and frailty of patients, the present cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and values of the systolic blood pressure (SBP). Goals - In a clinical study performed in 29 countries, we aimed to analyse differences in practical antihypertensive therapy of family doctors among patients older than 80 years; further we sought to answer how much was influenced their therapeutic choice by frailty of the old age. The other goal of our study was to compare Hungarian versus international outcomes. Methodology - As part of an online survey, family practitioners had to decide about necessity of starting antihypertensive treatment among very elderly patients according to different patterns of frailty, SBP and CVD. The ratio of specific cases with positive treatment decision of family practitioners was compared in all 29 countries. We used a logistic mixed model analysis to multivariately model the role of frailty. Results - 2543 family practitioners participated in the cross-national study; 52% were female; 51% practised in urban environment. In 61% of practices, there was the ratio higher than 10% of very elderly patients. Hungary participated with 247 family practitioners in the study; 52.3% were female; 63.1% practised in urban environment. In 48.8% of practices the ratio of very elderly patients was higher than 10%. In 24 out of the 29 countries (83%), frailty was associated with GPs’ negative decision about starting treatment even after adjustment for SBP, CVD, and GP characteristics (odds ratio [OR 0.53]), 95% CI: 0.48-0.59; ORs per country 0.11-1.78). The lowest treatment ratio was in the Netherlands (34.2%; 95% CI: 32.0-36.5%) and the highest one in Ukraine (88.3%; 95% CI: 85.3-90.9%). In Hungary’s treatment ratio ranged 50-59%. This country ranked on the 27th place since Hungarian family practitioners chose rather to start antihypertensive treatment despite the frailty of the patient (OR=1.16; 95% CI: 0.85-1.59). Hungarian family practitioners started pharmacotherapy of elderly patients more frequently if they were males (OR= 1.45; 95% CI: 0.81-2.61), were working in their practice for less than 5 years (OR=2.41; 94% CI: 0.51-11.38), and if they had many patients aged over 80 years in their practice (OR=2.18; 95% CI: 0.70-6.80), however these differences were sta­­tistically not significant. Among Hun­ga­rian family practitioners starting therapy was significantly influen­ced by cardiovascular disease (OR=3.71; 95% CI: 2.64-5.23) and a SBP over 160 mmHg (OR=190.39; 95% CI: 106.83-339.28). Conclusions - In our study, there was significant difference between countries in starting antihypertensive treatment for very elderly patients. However, Hungary was among the countries where family practitioners preferred to treat their frail patients. The patients’ frailty did not have any impact on starting the therapy; rather cardiovascular disease and a SBP over 160 mmHg decided. It is an important message of the study that there is continuous need to educate family practitioners and trainees about the treatment of frail, elderly hypertensive patients.]

Journal of Nursing Theory and Practice

FEBRUARY 28, 2014

[Occupational Health Nursing in the Netherlands: Study Trip Review]

HIRDI Henriett Éva

[In October 2012 the author had the opportunity to spend 4 days in the Netherlands on a study trip. The purpose of the trip was to exchange information about the nursing education facilities and the tasks of Occupational Health Nurses in the Netherlands. The study tour supported by the Federation of Occupational Health Nurses within the European Union. Although the length of the trip was relatively short, the impact and exposure it brought to the author was definitely enormous. ]

Lege Artis Medicinae

OCTOBER 20, 2004

[COST-EFFECTIVENESS OF PIMECROLIMUS CREAM - A NEW TREATMENT FOR ATOPIC DERMATITIS IN HUNGARY]

KÓSA József, HUNYADI János, SZALAI Zsuzsanna, KÖRMENDY Miklós, KALÓ Zoltán

[OBJECTIVE - To assess the costs, consequences and cost-effectiveness of pimecrolimus cream 1% in the treatment of children with atopic dermatitis in Hungary. METHODS - A Markov-model for atopic dermatitis developed by the Erasmus University (Rotterdam, the Netherlands) was adopted to the Hungarian health care setting. The model is based on a double-blind, multicenter, randomized, parallelgroup study. Patients were randomised (2:1) to receive pimecrolimus treatment (i.e. emollients, pimecrolimus, medium potency topical corticosteroids) or standard of care (emollients, vehicle, medium potency topical corticosteroids). The study was conducted in children and adolescents (2 to 18 years of age). Hungarian cost vectors were calculated by linking severity of disease as defined by Investigator’s Global Assessment (IGA) to average resource use. Resource use was multiplied by drug costs and unit costs as published in official databases. RESULTS - Pimecrolimus treatment has an incremental cost of HUF 143 897 over standard care. This additional cost of care resulted in an incremental 0.05 QALY gain over the 6 months period. The incremental cost effectiveness ratio was 2 863 913 HUF/QALY for the pimecrolimus therapy. CONCLUSION - Pimecrolimus is more costeffective than many other health care interventions currently reimbursed by the Hungarian National Health Fund.]

Clinical Neuroscience

FEBRUARY 10, 2004

[A novel analgesic made from cannabis]

SZENDREI Kálmán

[Bayer AG has recently announced that it acquired exclusive rights for the marketing of GW Pharmaceuticals´ new medicine Sativex® in Europe and in other regions. Sativex is a sublingual spray on Cannabis extract basis, and is equipped with an electronic tool to facilitate accurate dosing and to prevent misuses. It is standardized for the THC and CBD. The new analgesic is proposed for the treatment of muscle spasticity and pains accompanying multiple sclerosis and as an efficient analgetic for neurogenic pain not responding well to opioids and to other therapies available. The entirely new mechanism of action through the recently discovered cannabinoid receptor system may offer a real therapeutic potential to the drug. Although the Government of Netherlands has authorized the sale of pharmaceutical grade Cannabis herb by pharmacies in the Netherlands, the availability on the pharmaceutical market of the registered preparation may render requests for the authorization of the smoking of Cannabis herb (marihuana) by individuals suffering of multiple sclerosis, neurogenic pain, AIDS wasting syndrome unnecessary. Nevertheless, the ”old chameleon” plant Cannabis appears to gradually regain its previous status in mainstream therapy and pharmacy. As long as the plant Cannabis and its products continue to be classified as narcotic drugs, medical use of the new preparation will need close supervision.]

AUGUST 15, 2011

The Paracetamol (Acetaminophen) In Stroke?

Original abstract:High body temperature in the first 12-24 h after stroke onset is associated with poor functional outcome. The Paracetamol (Acetaminophen) In Stroke (PAIS) trial aimed to assess whether early treatment with paracetamol improves functional outcome in patients with acute stroke by reducing body temperature and preventing fever. METHODS: In a multicentre, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, patients with ischaemic stroke or intracerebral haemorrhage and body temperature between 36 degrees C and 39 degrees C were randomly assigned treatment with paracetamol (6 g daily) or placebo within 12 h from symptom onset. Treatment allocation was based on a computer-generated list of random numbers with varying block size. The primary outcome was improvement beyond expectation on the modified Rankin scale at 3 months, according to the sliding dichotomy approach. This trial is registered, number ISRCTN74418480. FINDINGS: Between March, 2003, and May, 2008, 1400 patients were randomly allocated treatment. 260 (37%) of 697 patients receiving paracetamol and 232 (33%) of 703 receiving placebo improved beyond expectation (adjusted odds ratio [OR] 1.20, 95% CI 0.96-1.50). In a post-hoc analysis of patients with baseline body temperature 37-39 degrees C, treatment with paracetamol was associated with improved outcome (1.43, 1.02-1.97). There were 55 serious adverse events in the paracetamol group (8%) and 70 in the placebo group (10%). INTERPRETATION: These results do not support routine use of high-dose paracetamol in patients with acute stroke. Paracetamol might have a beneficial effect on functional outcome in patients admitted with a body temperature 37-39 degrees C, but this post-hoc finding needs further study. FUNDING: Netherlands Heart Foundation.