HYPERTENSION is one of the major killers in modern times. Uncontrolled high blood pressure severely increases the risk of cardiac arrest, kidney failure, and strokes for patients. More worryingly, what was considered a disease for older people is now being seen among patients 30 years old and below.
A study by the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation showed that deaths and burden of disease attributable to hypertension significantly grew over the last 3 decades in the Philippines. Hypertension death rate rose from 11 percent in 1990 to 21 percent in 2017, with hypertension-related disabilities rising from 4 percent to 11 percent.
Menarini Asia Pacific, the regional arm of Italian biopharmaceutical company Menarini Group recently organized a media forum where the results of a real-world study was presented. The company conducted the BENEFIT Korea Study which sought to show the effects of the new breed of beta blockers on all hypertensive patient profile.
Beta blockers work to slow down the heart rate and temporarily reduce the body’s natural fight of flight response. They help reduce stress on the heart and on the blood vessels in the brain, consequently lowering blood pressure. This can help protect hypertensive individuals against a heart attack and can improve the conditions of those suffering from heart failure.
It did a data analysis of more than 3,200 patients in a real-world setting to determine if Nebivolol, a 3rd generation beta blocker was safe and effective in reducing blood pressure in hypersensitive patients with various co-morbidities and treatment environment in Korea.
The study revealed that even with various co-morbidities and treatment environments, daily intake of 5mg of Nebivolol significantly lowered patients’ blood pressure in just 12 weeks and 24 weeks.
The study also confirmed that patients with concurrent medical conditions like dyslipidemia, obesity, and diabetes tolerated the drug well even after daily intake. Lastly, it demonstrated its efficacy whether as an initial treatment, an add-on to existing medicine intake, or as a replacement for existing anti-hypertensive medication.
The BENEFIT Korea study is one of the largest observational studies of beta blockers for hypertension in Asia, which is particularly important in light of increasing prevalence of hypertension and the rapid population aging in the region. As a way forward, Menarini hopes that the real-world data from the study would be useful in improving drug research, and may help supplement the data obtained from clinical trials in order to provide better holistic healthcare services to the patient.