LONDON, November 29, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --
- UK PATIENTS DEMAND NEW TREATMENT OPTIONS -
- Hypertension Experts Launch New Global Awareness Effort 'Power Over Pressure' to Support and Educate Patients
Despite ongoing medical care, an alarming majority (57 percent) of people in the UK with 'treatment-resistant' hypertension reported in a new survey that high blood pressure remains their most serious health concern. Nearly three out of four patients (72 percent) of respondents said they need new treatment options to get their dangerously high blood pressure under control.
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Treatment-resistant hypertension, defined as persistently high blood pressure despite treatment with three or more medications from different classes, poses a serious health threat to nearly 100 million people worldwide.[1,2]
The survey was conducted by Harris Interactive with more than 4,500 high blood pressure patients worldwide as the first step in a global health campaign called Power Over Pressure, which is endorsed by both the European Society of Hypertension (ESH) and the American Society of Hypertension, Inc. (ASH). In Europe, 2,622 people participated in the survey, of which 538 were from the UK. Power Over Pressure is designed to educate and empower patients and physicians to finally take control of this challenging disease - visit http://www.poweroverpressure.com.
The survey, supported by Medtronic, also found that people in the UK with treatment-resistant hypertension are extremely worried about their overall health. Two thirds (65 percent) of respondents described their overall health as 'fair or poor', despite the fact that most people in the UK with treatment-resistant hypertension reported being under the care of either a general practitioner (71 percent) or a cardiologist (14 percent).
"A new approach is needed to improve control of this most challenging form of hypertension," said Professor Roland Schmieder, co-chair of the Power over Pressure campaign and professor of internal medicine, nephrology and hypertension, and head of the clinical research centre for hypertension and vascular medicine at the department of nephrology and hypertension, University Hospital Erlangen, Germany. "The number of treatment-resistant patients has increased by 62 percent in the past 20 years. Our survey results underscore the impact that treatment-resistant hypertension has on our patients and the critical need for more collaboration between patients and their physicians as well as appropriate referrals to specialists to aid in the management of this disease."
Dr. Charles Knight, consultant interventional cardiologist and clinical director of cardiovascular services, Barts and the London NHS Trust, London, UK, added: "Hypertension is a growing problem in the UK and treatment-resistant hypertension is something we need to urgently address. The results from this survey show that, not only does it affect people's physical health, but also their mood and quality of life. It is vital that we improve outcomes for these patients using new treatment options."
The survey revealed that adults with treatment-resistant hypertension face more serious medical challenges compared to others with less advanced forms of the disease. They are more likely to suffer from other life threatening illnesses including type 2 diabetes (33 percent for treatment-resistant patient vs. 11 percent for uncontrolled patients), heart disease (25 percent vs. 8 percent) and obesity (24 percent vs. 17 percent); they take an average of four pills each day for their prescribed blood pressure medications and many have been struggling to control their high blood pressure for more than 10 years.
Patients from the UK with treatment-resistant hypertension in the survey indicated that the condition is their most serious health concern and has a profound impact on their everyday lives. A majority of patients (58 percent) admitted to being very worried about having a stroke as a result of their high blood pressure. Three out of four patients with treatment-resistant hypertension say their high blood pressure has had a negative impact on their overall peace of mind (75 percent) and overall health (80 percent).
In addition, patients with treatment-resistant hypertension want more options to manage their condition. Nearly three out of four patients (73 percent) with treatment-resistant hypertension expressed concern about the number of medications they are taking, and more than three out of four patients (77 percent) said they wish it was easier to get their blood pressure under control. Additionally, two out of three patients with treatment-resistant hypertension (66 percent) predicted that their quality of life would greatly improve if they could control their blood pressure with fewer medications.
About Power Over Pressure
A team of global hypertension experts has reviewed the findings of this global survey. In response, the group is launching Power Over Pressure to raise awareness of the challenges faced by the nearly 100 million people worldwide who are living with treatment-resistant hypertension. The campaign aims to educate and empower patients and physicians finally to take control of this challenging disease. More information about the campaign is available online at http://www.poweroverpressure.com.
Power Over Pressure is chaired by two world-renowned hypertension experts: Roland E. Schmieder, M.D., professor of internal medicine, nephrology and hypertension and head of the clinical research centre for hypertension and vascular medicine at the department of nephrology and hypertension of the University Hospital Erlangen, in Germany; and Suzanne Oparil, M.D., professor of medicine, physiology and biophysics, and director of the vascular biology and hypertension program in the division of cardiovascular disease at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, in the United States.
About Treatment-Resistant Hypertension
Treatment-resistant hypertension is an especially dangerous chronic disease because of its association with increased cardiovascular risk, including stroke and heart attack, as well as heart failure and kidney disease. Research suggests that 28 percent of treated hypertensive individuals are considered resistant to treatment. Additionally, these patients have a threefold increase in risk of cardiovascular events compared to individuals with controlled high blood pressure. 
About the Survey
The survey polled a range of 400 to 800 people with uncontrolled hypertension in each of eight countries around the world: Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, United Kingdom and United States. In each country, at least 200 adults with treatment-resistant hypertension taking three or more medications and at least 200 adults with uncontrolled hypertension taking one, two or no medications were interviewed.
This survey was conducted online October 4 - 25, 2011 by Harris Interactive and sponsored by Medtronic among 4,574 adults aged 18+ who self-report that they have been diagnosed with uncontrolled (n=2,649) or resistant (n=1,925) hypertension within the United States (n=571 uncontrolled, n=238 resistant), United Kingdom (n=220 uncontrolled, n=318 resistant), France (n=214 uncontrolled, n=210 resistant), Germany (n=291 uncontrolled, n=218 resistant), Italy (n=393 uncontrolled, n=221 resistant), Spain (n=280 uncontrolled, n=257 resistant), Brazil (n=376 uncontrolled, n=213 resistant), and Japan (n=304 uncontrolled, n=250 resistant).
1. Persell S. D. Prevalence of Resistant Hypertension in the United States, 2003-2008. Hypertension. 2011;57(6):1076-1080.
2. "Hypertension and cardiovascular disease", World Heart Federation 2011, http://www.world-heart-federation.org/cardiovascular-health/cardiovascular-disease-risk-factors/hypertension/. Accessed 28 Oct 2011.
3. Egan B. M., et al. Uncontrolled and Apparent Treatment Resistant Hypertension in the United States, 1988-2008. Circulation. 2011;124(9):1046-1058.
4. Doumas M., et al. Benefits from Treatment and Control of Patients with Resistant Hypertension. International Journal of Hypertension. 2011. DOI 10.4061/2011/318549.
SOURCE Medtronic Inc.