Improved efficacy of beta-blockers to benefit Filipinos with hypertension


    High blood pressure remains to be a growing health concern in the Philippines. In 2007, the council of hypertension of the Philippine Heart Association (PHA) conducted a nationwide survey which reported that the prevalence of hypertension in the adult population in the Philippines to be 21%. From this, 25% were unaware they had the condition.

    Dangerous as it is hypertension oftentimes does not show any symptoms – hence it is called the “Silent Killer.” If left unmanaged, it could significantly increase the risk of heart attack, stroke, heart failure, aneurysm, and renal failure.

    An unhealthy diet of excessive salt, saturated fat and trans fat, low intake of fruits and vegetables, inadequate physical inactivity, regular smoking and drinking, and obesity are risk factors. However, with lifestyle changes and regular exercise, danger from this ailment can be reduced; and though it cannot be cured, the good news is that hypertension can be managed with the use of anti-hypertensive medications such as RAS blockers, calcium channel blockers, and beta-blockers such as nebivolol.

    When arteries become stiff or clogged, the heart needs to work harder. An overworked heart can become larger than normal, causing the walls of the heart muscle to weaken and underperform. This inability to properly pump blood could eventually result in a heart attack or heart failure.

    The action of beta-blockers work to slow down the heart rate and temporarily reduce the body’s natural fight or flight response. They help reduce stress on the heart and on the blood vessels in the brain, consequently lowering blood pressure.

    Beta-blockers also block the hormones adrenaline and noradrenaline in the brain, which activate the fight-or-flight response during stress. Too much adrenaline would lead to an abnormal increase in heart rate and blood pressure even when at rest, so these medications help tone down this stress-response, resulting in a lower heart rate and lower blood pressure.

    Nebivolol is one of the newer generations of beta-blockers that act to lower blood pressure by widening the diameter of arteries to ease blood pressure.

    Clinical trials have helped test the safety and effectiveness of pharmaceutical products and devices.

    The BENEFIT Korea Study is a concrete example of real-world data in action, providing essential information for people with hypertension. Patients included in the study consented to have their medical records assessed. Revealed thereafter is that regular intake of 5mg of nebivolol daily significantly lowered their blood pressure in just 12 weeks. The study also confirmed that patients with concurrent medical conditions like dyslipidemia, obesity, and diabetes tolerated the drug well after daily intake. In addition, it also demonstrated the efficacy of nebivolol in reducing blood pressure, regardless if it was used as initial therapy, as an add-on, or as a switch for other anti-hypertensive medications.

    Menarini Asia-Pacific conducted the real-world data analysis of more than 3,200 patients in a real-world setting to ensure that nebivolol remains efficient and effective for hypertensive patients in the region. The promising result of the study confirms that nebivolol is safe and effective and may be administered to patients in the region (like the Philippines) with hypertension, regardless of current anti-hypertensive therapy and co-morbidities by a qualified doctor.