Global Survey Shows Outlook Worsening for Nearly 100 Million People With the Most Challenging Form of Hypertension

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    - PATIENTS DEMAND NEW TREATMENT OPTIONS -

    Hypertension Experts Launch New Global Awareness Effort 'Power Over
    Pressure' to Support and Educate Patients

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ERLANGEN, Germany and BIRMINGHAM, Ala., Nov. 29, 2011 /CNW/ -- Despite ongoing medical care, an alarming 65 percent of people with 'treatment-resistant' hypertension reported in a new survey that high blood pressure remains their most serious health concern, and 79 percent of the respondents said they need new treatment options to get their dangerously high blood pressure under control.

To view the multimedia assets associated with this release, please click: http://www.multivu.com/mnr/53359-hypertension-global-awareness-effort-power-over -pressure-educate-patients

Treatment-resistant hypertension, defined as persistently high blood pressure despite treatment with three or more antihypertensive medications, poses a serious health threat to nearly 100 million people worldwide.[i], [ii]

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).

The survey, supported by Medtronic, Inc., also found that people with treatment-resistant hypertension are extremely worried about their overall health. Two-thirds (67 percent) of the respondents described their overall health as 'fair or poor,' despite the fact that most people with treatment-resistant hypertension reported being under the care of either a general practitioner (70 percent) or a cardiologist (25 percent).

A team of global hypertension experts have 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 to finally take control of this challenging disease. More information about the campaign is available online at www.poweroverpressure.com.

Power Over Pressure is chaired by two world-renowned hypertension experts: 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; and Roland E. Schmieder, M.D., professor of internal medicine, nephrology and hypertension and head of the clinical research center hypertension and vascular medicine at the department of nephrology and hypertension of the University Hospital Erlangen, in Germany.

"A new approach is needed to improve control of this most challenging form of hypertension," said Prof. Schmieder. "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."

Prof. Oparil added: "These survey results confirm the critical need for these patients and their physicians to improve overall patient outcomes through new or more effective treatment approaches. We are launching Power Over Pressure to help address this public health challenge."

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.

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 (22 percent vs. 15 percent), heart disease (30 percent vs. 11 percent) and obesity (37 percent vs. 26 percent); they take an average of four pills each day for their prescribed blood pressure medications and have been struggling with their high blood pressure for more than 9 years.

Treatment-resistant patients are extremely worried about their overall health

Patients 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. Six out of ten patients (60 percent) admitted to being very worried about having a stroke as a result of their high blood pressure, and more than half of patients (53 percent) said they are worried about dying prematurely because of their high blood pressure. Eight out of ten patients with treatment-resistant hypertension said their high blood pressure has had a negative impact on their overall peace of mind (80 percent) and overall health (87 percent).

In addition, patients with treatment-resistant hypertension want more options to manage their condition. Three out of four patients (75 percent) with treatment-resistant hypertension expressed concern about the number of medications they are taking, and more than eight out of 10 patients (84 percent) said they wish it was easier to get their blood pressure under control. Additionally, three out of four patients with treatment-resistant hypertension (75 percent) predicted that their quality of life would greatly improve if they could control their blood pressure with fewer medications.

About Treatment-Resistant Hypertension

Treatment-resistant high blood pressure 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.[iii] Additionally, these patients have a three fold increase in risk of cardiovascular events compared to individuals with controlled high blood pressure.[iv]

About the Survey

This survey was conducted online October 4-25, 2011 by Harris Interactive and sponsored by Medtronic, Inc. 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).

[i] Persell, Stephen D. "Prevalence of Resistant Hypertension in the United States, 2003-2008." Hypertension 57.6 (2011): 1076-1080.

[ii] "Hypertension and cardiovascular disease." World Heart Federation. 2011. http://www.world-heart-federation.org/cardiovascular-health/cardiovascular-disea se-risk-factors/hypertension/. Accessed 28 Oct. 2011.

[iii] Egan, Brent M., et al. "Uncontrolled and Apparent Treatment Resistant Hypertension in the United States, 1988-2008." Circulation 124. 9 (2011): 1046-1058.

[iv] Doumas, Michael, et al. "Benefits from Treatment and Control of Patients with Resistant Hypertension." International Journal of Hypertension 2011 (2011) Article ID 318549, 8 pages, 2011. doi:10.4061/2011/318549.

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SOURCE Medtronic Inc.

For further information: CONTACT: Lee-Ann Murphy, Burson-Marsteller, +1-415-591-4097, lee-ann.murphy@bm.com; Elisabeth Neal, Burson-Marsteller, +020-7300-6137, elisabeth.neal@bm.com Web Site: http://www.poweroverpressure.com

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