Guidelines emphasise the importance of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) goals for cardiovascular risk reduction. Given the importance of association between high-density lipoprotein (HDL-C) and triglycerides (TG) normal levels and cardiovascular risk, there is an additional need to further evaluate diverse dyslipidaemic populations.
The treatment of heart failure in pregnant women is more difficult than in non-pregnant women, and should always involve a multidisciplinary team approach. Knowledge required includes hemodynamic changes in pregnancy and the resultant effect on women with pre-existing or pregnancy-related cardiovascular disease, cardiovascular drugs in pregnancy, ethical issues and challenges regarding saving mother and baby. In addition, women having high risk cardiac lesions should be counselled strongly against pregnancy and followed up regularly. Pregnancy with heart failure is an important issue, demanding more comprehensive studies.
Aims: There is limited study on patient-centred attitudes with regards to the patient–physician relationship in physicians. The objective of this study was to examine and compare physician attitudes toward patient-centredness in four different medical settings.
Methods: The present study utilised a cross-sectional survey design and purposive sampling to recruit physicians from a single academic medical centre via face-to-face interviews. Patient-centred attitudes of physicians specialising in surgery, oncology, obstetrics and gynaecology and primary care
(N = 78) were compared on the Patient–Practitioner Orientation Scale (PPOS) using an independent one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA). The four medical
specialties comprised the four levels, with role orientation (patient-centred orientation vs. doctor-centred orientation) as the dependent measure.
Results: A significant level of difference (p < 0.001) was found between the four specialisations:
oncologists were found to have the highest level of patient-centeredness, followed by obstetricians & gynaecologists and primary care physicians, with surgeons being the least patient-centred among specialisations sampled.
Conclusion: These data are the first from the South-East Asian region to demonstrate differences in
physician attitudes between medical specialties. Our findings prompt further investigation and confirmation as to whether physicians with particular attitudinal traits are attracted to any particular specialties of medicine, or if physician attitudes are acquired through professional experience and training. In addition, this study offers better insight into the attitudinal differences of physician between medical specialities.
Questionnaire: Patient–Practitioner Orientation Scale; PPOS
Reports from non-Asian populations indicate that painful physical symptoms (PPS) are associated with poorer clinical and functional outcomes in major depressive disorder (MDD). The purpose of this study is to report comparative changes in disease severity, treatment patterns and quality of life observed in East Asian patients with MDD, with and without PPS, as assessed prospectively over a 3-month observation period.
Peripartum cardiomyopathy (PPCM) is an uncommon form of congestive heart failure, afflicting obstetric patients around the time of delivery. The epidemiology of PPCM is infrequently reported. To the best of our knowledge, there has been no report from Asia.
Several therapeutic approaches have been developed to improve the outcome among patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS). However, treatment with antithrombotic therapies such as oral glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibitors has been limited by the lack of efficacy and excess bleeding complications. As the publication of the landmark study Clopidogrel in Unstable Angina to Prevent Recurrent Events (CURE), the clinical benefit of early and intermediate-term use of combined antiplatelet agents--clopidogrel plus aspirin--in non-ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI) patients became evident. Pretreatment and intermediate-term therapy with clopidogrel in NSTEMI ACS patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) was further supported by the PCI-CURE trial. Recently, the results of two major trials Clopidogrel as Adjunctive Reperfusion Therapy-Thrombolysis in Myocardial Infarction 28, Clopidogrel and Metoprolol in Myocardial Infarction Trial established the pivotal role of clopidogrel in the other spectrum of ACS-STEMI. Coupled with the results from previous multicentre trials, these two studies provide a guide for the early and long-term use of clopidogrel in the whole spectrum of ACS. A review summarising the results of the recent clinical trials and a discussion on its implications for the clinical management of ACS is presented.
This single centre study was designed to demonstrate feasibility, safety and efficacy of the Vivant Z stent (PFM AG, Cologne, Germany). Patients with de novo lesion were recruited. Coronary angioplasty was performed with either direct stenting or after balloon predilatation. Repeated angiogram was performed 6 months later or earlier if clinically indicated. Between January to June 2003, a total of 50 patients were recruited (mean age 55.8 +/- 9 years). A total of 52 lesions were stented successfully. Mean reference diameter was 2.77 mm (+/-0.59 SD, range 2.05-4.39 mm) with mean target lesion stenosis of 65.5% (+/-11.6 SD, range 50.1-93.3%). Forty-six lesions (88.5%) were American College of Cardiologist/American Heart Association class B/C types. Direct stenting was performed in 18 (34.6%) lesions. Mean stent diameter was 3.18 mm (+/-0.41 SD, range 2.5-4 mm), and mean stent length was 14.86 mm (+/-2.72 SD, range 9-18 mm). The procedure was complicated in only one case which involved the loss of side branch with no clinical sequelae. All treated lesions achieved Thrombolysis In Myocardial Infarction 3 flow. Mean residual diameter stenosis was 12.2% (+/-7.55 SD, range 0-22.6%) with acute gain of 1.72 mm (+/-0.50 SD, range 0.5-2.8). At 6 months, there was no major adverse cardiovascular event. Repeated angiography after 6 months showed a restenosis rate of 17% (defined as >50% diameter restenosis). Mean late loss was 0.96 mm (+/-0.48 SD) with loss index of 0.61 (+/-0.38 SD). The restenosis rate of those lesions less than 3.0 mm in diameter was 22.2% compared with 6.25% in those lesions more than 3.0 mm in diameter. The Vivant Z stent was shown to be safe and efficacious with low restenosis rate in de novo coronary artery lesion.
Coronary angiography is the gold standard for assessing coronary artery disease (CAD). In many patients with chest pain, no or mild CAD (< 50% stenosis) is found. It is uncertain whether this 'non-significant' result influences management and outcomes. We reviewed characteristics and outcomes in a contemporary cohort of chest pain referrals who had mild or absent CAD on coronary angiography.
AIM: To identify the barriers and facilitators to start insulin in patients with type 2 diabetes.
METHOD: This was a systematic review. We conducted a systematic search using PubMed, EMBASE, CINAHL and Web of Science (up to 5 June 2014) for original English articles using the terms 'type 2 diabetes', 'insulin', and free texts: 'barrier' or 'facilitate' and 'initiate'. Two pairs of reviewers independently assessed and extracted the data. Study quality was assessed with Qualsyst.
RESULTS: A total of 9740 references were identified: 41 full-text articles were assessed for eligibility. Twenty-five articles (15 qualitative, 10 quantitative) were included in the review. Good inter-rater reliability was observed for the Qualsyst score (weighted kappa 0.7). Three main themes identified were as follows: patient-related, healthcare professional and system factors. The main patient-related barriers were fear of pain and injection (n = 18), concerns about side effects of insulin (n = 12), perception that insulin indicated end stage of diabetes (n = 11), inconvenience (n = 10), difficulty in insulin administration (n = 7), punishment (n = 7) and stigma and discrimination (n = 7). Healthcare professionals' barriers were as follows: poor knowledge and skills (n = 9), physician inertia (n = 5) and language barriers (n = 4). System barriers included lack of time (n = 5). The most common facilitators were understanding the benefits of insulin (n = 7), not being afraid of injections (n = 5), and patient education and information (n = 5).
CONCLUSION: Major barriers to insulin initiation persist despite availability of newer and safer insulin. Healthcare professionals should explore and address these barriers. Targeted interventions should be developed to overcome these barriers.
Iron deposition in the heart occurs in beta-thalassaemia major and contributes to cardiac dysfunction. Eighteen patients with beta-thalassaemia major were assessed clinically and had non-invasive investigations. They were young (15.5 +/- 3.6 years). Two patients had clinical heart failure. Doppler echocardiography demonstrated higher transmitral peak flow velocity in early and late diastole compared with controls (e: p<0.05, a: p<0.01). Transtricuspid peak late diastolic flow velocity was higher in patients (p<0.005). Isovolumic relaxation time was shortened (p<0.001). Pulmonary venous flow velocity was higher in diastole than systole (S: 0.51 +/- 0.11 m/s, D: 0.62 +/- 0.08 m/s). Reversal of pulmonary venous flow during atrial systole was seen in eight patients. These diastolic filling abnormalities did not significantly change with blood transfusion. Left ventricular ejection fraction was normal in patients. Two patients had cardiomegaly on chest X-ray. In beta-thalassaemia with iron overload, there is a restrictive pattern of diastolic dysfunction. This is not altered by recent blood transfusion. Left ventricular function remains relatively intact.
A prospective study was conducted to determine the proportion of patients who received an antibiotic within 12 hours of admission to the medical wards. During the four-week study, 234 patients were admitted to medical wards from casualty; 68 patients (29%) received an antibiotic. The survey indicated that antibiotics were inappropriate in 22-65% of those treated. This study also shows that as many as 67% of patients who received intravenous antibiotics could have been equally well treated with oral preparations.
Direct coronary angioplasty with stent implantation is an effective treatment for acute myocardial infarction. The use of adjunctive abciximab, a platelet glycoprotein IIb/IIIa receptor antagonist is expensive. We report on three cases of direct coronary angioplasty complicated by extensive thrombus formation that were successfully treated with attenuated dosing of abciximab via the intracoronary route. All patients presented with acute myocardial infarction complicated by cardiogenic shock or eminent cardiogenic shock. Abciximab was administered after balloon dilatation when extensive thrombus formation was noted and persisted despite repeated inflations. In all three patients a single 10 mg vial of intracoronary abciximab was administered, resulting in complete dissolution of thrombus, allowing successful deployment of stents. Thus, a single 10 mg intracoronary bolus dose of abciximab may be sufficient to achieve high local concentrations of antiplatelet activity. This facilitates thrombus dissolution and allows the safe deployment of a stent to normalise intracoronary rheology.
Despite their proven value in reducing morbidity and mortality in different grades of heart failure, angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors continue to be underused. One reason for this is clinicians' apprehension of first-dose hypotension. We conducted a double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled parallel group study to investigate the effect of various ACE inhibitors on first-dose hypotension. Eighty unselected patients were randomised into five treatment groups: placebo, captopril 6.25 mg, enalapril 2.5 mg, perindopril 2 mg and lisinopril 2.5 mg. Blood pressure was measured at baseline, half hourly for two hours and hourly for three hours after drug treatment. The maximum drops in mean arterial pressure (in mmHg +/- SD) were placebo 5.89 +/- 2.65, perindopril 5.29 +/- 2.49, enalapril 13.28 +/- 3.31, lisinopril 15.04 +/- 5.74 and captopril 16.76 +/- 5.74 (all p < 0.05 vs placebo except for perindopril). Perindopril, unlike the other ACE inhibitors studied, did not produce first-dose hypotension following its initiation in patients with congestive heart failure.
We prospectively studied the type, frequency and outcome of infections in 513 patients with 762 consecutive episodes of febrile neutropenia (FN) over a five-year period between 1995 and 1999 in a single paediatric oncology unit. The findings were then compared with a similar study carried out in our unit between 1990 and 1994. The types of bacterial isolates and sensitivity patterns were also studied to identify trends and to gauge the suitability of antibiotics chosen for empirical therapy. Bacteraemia was documented in 35.4% of FN episodes, although 70% of patients did not have an obvious site of sepsis. The majority of isolates (61.9%) were gram-negative bacteria, a consistent finding throughout the study period. Resistance to ceftazidime, amikacin and imipenem among gram-negative bacteria was 26.3%, 21.2% and 0.7%, respectively. Methicillin resistance among gram-positive bacteria was 26.3%, while no vancomycin-resistant bacteria were encountered. There were 36 sepsis-related deaths. Factors associated with a fatal outome were prolonged capillary refill time, hypotension, fever above 39 degrees C and pneumonia. Rapid neutrophil recovery was associated with a good prognosis. A change to our current choice of empirical antibiotics for FN, comprising ceftazidime/ceftriaxone and amikacin appears necessary because of the relatively high resistance rates found.
ACE inhibitors are important therapeutic agents in controlling hypertension, correcting some of its pathophysiological derangement and improving its prognosis. While there are many such agents, there may be some important differences between them. This placebo run-in, double blind, crossover study, using 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring, compares the efficacy of perindopril 4-8 mg and enalapril 10-20 mg as once daily antihypertensive agents on 32 patients. For diastolic blood pressure (DBP), perindopril had a placebo-corrected peak (P) reduction of blood pressure (BP) of -6.4 +/- 1.3 mmHg vs its placebo-corrected trough (T) of -5.2 +/- 1.7 mmHg. Enalapril had a reduction in DBP of -8.5 +/- 1.3 mmHg (P) and -5.7 +/- 1.7 mmHg (T). For systolic blood pressure (SBP), perindopril had a reduction of -7.5 +/- 1.6 mmHg (P) vs -7.3 +/- 2.2 mmHg (T) compared to enalapril with -10.8 +/- 1.6 mmHg (P) vs -8.3 +/- 2.3 mmHg (T). Placebo-corrected trough-to-peak ratio (SBP/DBP) for perindopril was 0.97/0.81 vs 0.77/0.67 for enalapril. There was no difference noted in 24-hour mean BP, area under the curve or post-dose casual BP measurements. Both perindopril and enalapril were well tolerated and the two treatment groups had similar safety profiles. Perindopril thus had a predictable and sustained blood pressure effect giving a 24-hour cover for the patient without excessive peak effect or poor trough effect.
Atherosclerosis is a progressive, disseminated condition that affects all the vascular beds. Peripheral arterial disease (PAD), a manifestation of atherosclerosis, measured non-invasively in the legs by ankle-brachial index (ABI) is associated with increased cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Though several studies in the western industrialised countries have shown that PAD is widely prevalent in the general older population at risk, not much data are available in the South East Asian developing countries. We have conducted an epidemiological survey on the prevalence of PAD in high-risk patients at an urban hospital in Malaysia. A total of 301 consecutive patients aged 32-90 years were recruited during their follow-up clinic visits for established cardiovascular disease, ischaemic stroke or diabetes mellitus > or = 5 years. All participants underwent ABI measurement and were subjected to the Edinburgh claudication questionnaire to assess leg symptoms. The prevalence of PAD in our high-risk population was 23%, of which only 27% were symptomatic with the classical intermittent claudication. All the patients with PAD were diagnosed at the time of the study. PAD was found in 33% of patients with pre-existent cardiovascular disease, 28% in patients with ischaemic stroke and 24% in diabetic patients. PAD was also highly prevalent among the younger patients. Our study has shown that PAD is highly prevalent among high-risk Malaysian patients and is not necessarily a disease of older age. Only 27% of these patients were symptomatic. All the subjects with PAD were diagnosed at the time of the study, which would suggest it is an unrecognised and underdiagnosed condition, even in patients with atherosclerotic risk factors.
Indo-Asians in the UK are at an increased risk of coronary artery disease (CAD); this may be a reflection of their cardiovascular risk factor profile as well as of a more sedentary lifestyle. We hypothesised that Indo-Asians in Malaysia and the UK may exhibit a similar cardiovascular risk factor and physical activity profile, which would be more adverse compared with caucasians. We studied 70 consecutive Indo-Asian patients admitted to hospitals in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (n=42; 35 males; mean age 60.6 years, SD 11.8); and Birmingham, England (n=28; 20 males; mean age 60.8 years, SD 12.9). Both groups of Indo-Asian patients were compared with 20 caucasian patients (13 males; mean age 62.7 years, SD 9.4) admitted with myocardial infarction from Birmingham. There was a higher prevalence of diabetes among Indo-Asians in both countries than among caucasians (p=0.0225). By contrast, caucasians had a higher prevalence of hypercholesterolaemia (p=0.0113), peripheral vascular disease (p=0.0008), regular alcohol consumption (p<0.0001) and family history of CAD (p=0.0041). There were no significant differences in mean age, body mass index or blood pressures. There was a significantly lower leisure activity score (p=0.001) and total physical activity score (p=0.003) among Indo-Asians in both countries than among caucasians. This survey has demonstrated differences in cardiovascular risk factors among Indo-Asian and caucasian patients. The high prevalence of diabetes, as well as the lower physical activity and sedentary lifestyles among Indo-Asians, in both Malaysia and the UK, may in part contribute to the high incidence of CAD in this ethnic group.
There is little evidence to show that strict dietary modification alone confers any significant impact on cardiac events in primary and secondary prevention of coronary heart disease. Given the efficacy of the statins, the need for strict dietary modification in patients on statin therapy has been questioned. This study was performed to assess 1) the added benefit on serum lipid levels of a strict low-fat dietary regimen in patients with hypercholesterolaemia already treated with simvastatin; 2) the efficacy of simvastatin on the lipid profile of our sample Asian population; and 3) the tolerability and side-effect profile of simvastatin. This study was a prospective evaluation of 60 patients with hypercholesterolaemia treated with simvastatin who were subjected to either a normal diet or a dietitian guided low-fat diet. Assessment of the effects on serum lipid levels, side-effects, biochemical and haematological markers were performed. After 24 weeks of treatment, a strict dietitian guided low-fat diet conferred no additional benefit over and above what was achieved by simvastatin alone. Furthermore, a higher dose of simvastatin was needed in the dietitian guided diet group to achieve the target LDL-cholesterol level. Simvastatin resulted in a significant positive alteration of lipid profiles in all patients. The drug was well tolerated, with no significant change in either haematological or biochemical indices. Simvastatin is a highly effective cholesterol-lowering drug with a beneficial effect on the entire lipid spectrum in a cross-section of Asian patients, and is well tolerated. A dietitian guided dietary approach confers no additional advantage once statin therapy has been initiated.