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European and Chinese Cardiology Societies Work Together

New research shows that blood pressure remains a problem in China

Beijing, 9 October 2013
– With a recent World Health Organization (WHO) report1 showing hypertension affects over 40% of Chinese adults aged 45 or older, combating high blood pressure (BP) will be high on the agenda of the 24th Great Wall International Congress of Cardiology & Asia Pacific Heart Congress (GW-ICC & APHC), in Beijing (10 to 13 October 2013).
Risk Factors and Prevention

The European Society of Cardiology (ESC) will present a full programme at this meeting, including discussion of the latest European Guidelines on Hypertension2.

When current antihypertensive treatment guidelines are followed, blood pressure can be successfully controlled in up to 84% of cases, according to a new Chinese study3 that was presented at the recent ESC Congress 2013 in Amsterdam.
Despite this, the WHO report shows that more than 40% of Chinese people with hypertension are unaware of their condition, about 50% are receiving no medication for it, and about 80% are not controlling it well.
The Chinese cross-sectional study of almost 3,000 hypertensive patients treated at a community health centre in Yulin, Chengdu, China shows that current recommendations for treating hypertension can be highly successful, said lead investigator, Yujia Liang, MD, PhD from West China Hospital, Sichuan University in Chengdu.
The formula for success includes medical expertise.

“The Yulin CHC (Chengdu, China) is geographically close to a tertiary referral hospital (West China Hospital), and more importantly, has signed agreements on reciprocal patient referral, health care professional training and population study. It has its own pharmacy, biochemistry lab, family medicine clinic, day care bed and health promotion unit, and was selected as a sample centre for chronic non-communicable disease management in China. This provides an ideal platform for team based multi-intervention management that is suggested to be the most effective in BP control,” she said. 

Additionally, “among the doctors involved in the study, 86% completed a full-time 5-year medical programme with a bachelor’s degree in medical school. All the doctors also received a part-time training in family medicine for 6 or 12 months. Therefore, unlike the generally low training level of community health service staff in China (only 28% of general physicians have a bachelor’s degree4), doctors involved in the study undoubtedly have the capacity to provide better services to their patients.  This would definitely help in obtaining patient confidence and satisfaction with the centre’s services, in particular, their adherence to the management programme.” 

ESC’s educational outreach at the Chinese congress is part of the society’s key objective of international collaboration.
Professor Michel Komajda, Past-President of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC), will lead the “ESC in China programme”5 which will provide an overview of the recent ESC Congress 2013 in Amsterdam, including the new ESH-ESC Guidelines on Hypertension, and the new ESC/EASD Guidelines on Diabetes and Cardiovascular Diseases6.

Prof Komajda said: “The ESC recommendations stress that patients should be strongly encouraged to make changes in lifestyles (diet, especially salt reduction, exercise, alcohol, smoking cessation). Drug therapy is available and beneficial but will never replace individual efforts to adopt healthy habits.”

The hypertension guidelines emphasise that lifestyle factors, lack of patient and physician awareness, and physician “inertia” are significant contributors to hypertension, while the guidelines on diabetes with CVD emphasise lifestyle modification and glucose control as well as careful management of hypertension and dyslipidaemia.
In the “ESC in China programme”, faculty from Europe and China will examine some of the best clinical trials and guidelines presented in Amsterdam.
Dayi Hu, MD, President of the Chinese Congress of Cardiology, said the GW-ICC & APHC is expecting over 13,000 delegates from across 30 regions and countries and is now the largest cardiology congress in the Asia Pacific region.
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Notes to editor

About ESC at Great Wall International Congress of Cardiology & Asia Pacific Heart Congress
The scientific Programme to be held on 12 and 13 October 2013 in Beijing during the GW-ICC & APHC
About the ESC Global Scientific Activities
The ESC Global Scientific Activities (GSA) is a programme of international ESC educational courses, built around a global network of international partnerships
About the European Society of Cardiology
The European Society of Cardiology (ESC) represents more than 80,000 cardiology professionals across Europe and the Mediterranean. Its mission is to reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease in Europe