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50% heart disease patients in Asia fail to stick to medication: survey
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Fifty percent of patients with cardiovascular disease (CVD) in Asia failed to achieve treatment goals mainly because they did not stick to medication, according to the largest Pan-Asian survey CEPHEUS.

Findings of the survey were released at 2009 Asia-Pacific CV Summit held here Saturday, which brought together medical professionals from the region in the field of CVD treatment.

CEPHEUS, conducted by leading cardiologists in Asia, is to evaluate the current treatment status of hypercholesterolemia (high levels of cholesterol in blood). Elevated cholesterol level is a key risk factor for CVD.

CEPHEUS surveyed over 7,000 patients and doctors in Asia Pacific region. Nearly 44.1 percent of patients said they sometimes forgot to take tablets, and one in four patients thought it is OK to miss medication.

Jeong Euy Park, Professor of Medicine at Sungkyunkwan University, Republic of Korea, and Asian lead investigator for CEPHEUS, said "Patients are not aware that sticking to medication is the best way to treat CVD."

"Our study is to alert patients and physicians and to raise their awareness of the importance of compliance to treatment guidelines," said Professor Jeong Euy Park.

Doctors also suggested that lifestyle changes may help to reach cholesterol-lowering goals. Professor Jeong Euy Park said smoking was the leading lifestyle-related factor to CVD in Asia-pacific region, especially for China.

"To quit smoking is the No.1 lifestyle change that Chinese people should make," said Professor Jeong Euy Park.

Statistics released by Chinese Ministry of Health in 2007 showed that China had 350 million smokers, the world's largest smoking population. Each year, nearly one million people died from smoking-incurred diseases in the country.

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death worldwide, and global deaths from CVD are projected to increase from 17 million in 2004 to 23 million by 2030, according to World Health Organization (WHO).

WHO also predicted in "The global burden of disease: 2004 update" that Asia-Pacific region will bear half of the world's CVD burden.

(Xinhua News Agency September 21, 2009)


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