MUNICH, July 8, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --

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- Findings From the Supporting Hypertension Awareness and Research Europe-wide (SHARE) Survey Suggest the Need to Implement a Consistent Strategy to Improve and Maintain Blood Pressure Control

Physicians' treatment approaches to hypertension management are inconsistent[1] despite ESH-ESC (European Society of Hypertension and European Society of Cardiology) arterial hypertension guidelines[2], which could put patients with elevated blood pressure at risk, according to findings published recently in the Journal of Hypertension.[1] This inconsistency in adherence to the guidelines amongst physicians is one of the contributing factors to the substantial health and economic burden associated with uncontrolled blood pressure across Europe.[1]

Hypertension causes 7.6 million premature deaths worldwide and as many as 1 billion people may have uncontrolled hypertension worldwide.[3,4] If left untreated, hypertension may lead to serious cardiovascular health complications such as heart attack or stroke.[5] Uncontrolled hypertension is therefore a significant contributor to healthcare spending across Europe as the annual cardiovascular health bill in the EU is in excess of EUR190 billion.[6]

The Supporting Hypertension Awareness and Research Europe-wide (SHARE) survey sought the views of 2629 physicians from primary and secondary care around Europe and forms part of HypertensionCare, a commitment from Daiichi Sankyo [http://www.daiichi-sankyo.eu ] to providing increased knowledge and insight to physicians across Europe. The survey found 82% of physicians believe that ESH-ESC guideline blood pressure targets of 140/90 mmHg are 'about right' or 'not tight enough'.[1]

However, findings from the survey indicated that physicians only found cause for concern when patients average blood pressure was 149/92 mmHg, which is higher than guideline targets. Furthermore, of those physicians surveyed, blood pressure levels needed to reach an average of 168/100 mmHg before they felt compelled to take immediate action. Over 90% of physicians said they would not take action until their patients' systolic or diastolic blood pressure was higher than the guideline recommended levels.[1]

"All patients with a blood pressure over 140/90mmHg need to be carefully managed to bring their blood pressure down and reduce their cardiovascular risk. By delaying treatment or settling for blood pressure over this target, physicians are leaving patients at a potentially higher risk of cardiovascular events," said Professor Roland Schmieder, Professor of Internal Medicine, Nephrology and Hypertension and Head of the Clinical Research Competence Unit of Hypertension and Vascular Medicine at the University Hospital Erlangen, Germany and member of the SHARE Steering Committee. "As physicians we typically assume that a patient not reaching blood pressure goal is down to the patient's lack of compliance or adherence to treatment, but this survey clearly shows that as physicians we can also do more to help all our patients reach blood pressure goal."

Understanding the challenges of getting more hypertensive patients to blood pressure goal is a key objective of the SHARE survey, a collaborative initiative driven by European leaders in hypertension with the support of Daiichi Sankyo [http://www.daiichi-sankyo.eu ]. Findings like these enable Daiichi Sankyo [http://www.daiichi-sankyo.eu ] to develop simple and effective solutions through HypertensionCare to help physicians tackle the day to day challenges of hypertension management.

References

[1] Redon, J et al. Journal of Hypertension. Physician attitudes to blood pressure control: Finding from the Supporting Hypertension Awareness and Research Europe-wide (SHARE) survey. Journal of Hypertension 2011; 29; E-pub ahead of print. 000-000 DOI:10.1097/HJH.0b013e328348c934

[2] Mancia G et al. Reappraisal of European guidelines on hypertension management: a European Society of Hypertension Task Force document. Journal of Hypertension 2009; 27:2121-2158

[3] Lawes, C. M., Vander Hoorn, S. & Rodgers, A. Global burden of blood-pressure-related disease, 2001. Lancet 2008; 371(9623):1513-18.

[4] Gupta et al. Compliance, Safety, and Effectiveness of Fixed-Dose Combinations of Antihypertensive Agents. A Meta-Analysis.Hypertension 2010; 55:399.

[5] Chalmers, J et al. 1999 World Health Organization-International Society of Hypertension Guidelines for the management of hypertension. Guidelines sub-committee of the World Health Organization. Clin Exp Hypertens 1999; 21(5-6):1009-60.

[6] Allender, S et al. European cardiovascular disease statistics, European Heart Network. Available at: http://www.ehnheart.org/cdv-statistics.html (accessed February 2011).