Achieving glycaemic targets in primary cardiovascular prevention

Michel P. Hermans Published in the journal : November 2016 Category : GRAPA

For any diabetes type, glucose control aims to prevent microvascular complications. The speed of the β-cells' functional decline will guide the progressive or rapid initiation of lifestyle changes, supplemented by oral monotherapy, combination therapy, triple therapy (oral or injectable), and eventually basal or basal-prandial insulin administration. All currently marketed therapeutic classes can be used either alone or in combination, preference being given to medications with weight neutrality, free of hypoglycemic episodes, without deleterious effects on β-cells, and possibly with additional macrovascular benefits.

Read more

Glycemic targets in primary cardiovascular prevention

Michel P. Hermans Published in the journal : November 2016 Category : GRAPA

Regardless of the diabetes type, glucose control aims to prevent microvascular complications. Besides acute metabolic decompensation settings, appreciation of this control is mainly based on determining past and current HbA1c levels while documenting the occurrence of hypoglycemia episodes. Recently, the Social Security has made available to Type 1 diabetes patients the continuous measurement of interstitial glucose by means of subcutaneous sensors. On account of this therapeutic advance, we have now to consider new statistics and glycemic targets based on ambulatory glucose profiles generated in this way, including the concept of time spent within the target area.

Read more

Familial hypercholesterolemia

Olivier S. Descamps Published in the journal : November 2016 Category : GRAPA

Familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) is one of the most common fatal genetic diseases, affecting over 25,000 Belgians. It is responsible for very high cholesterol levels (> 300mg/dL) from birth, along with an increased risk of early vascular, cardiac, and cerebral complications, such as myocardial infarction and stroke, from the age of 30 years onwards in men and 40 in women. Cardiovascular complications may, however, be prevented by means of early diagnosis and proper treatment, ideally started in childhood.

Read more

O.S. Descamps Published in the journal : November 2016 Category : GRAPA

A recent broadcast of the ARTE channel titled "Cholestérol: le grand bluff" was questioning one of the most solid pillar of cardiovascular prevention: the role of cholesterol in cardiovascular disease and the usefulness of the drugs lowering cholesterol to prevent this disease. It raised many reactions amongst our patients creating doubt on the justification of their treatment for their high cholesterol. To face such "denial" attitude, the Belgian Association of Patients with Familial Hypercholesterolemia (www.belchol.be) and the Belgian Society of Atherosclerosis (Belgian Society of Atherosclerosis) responded by sending a letter to the President and the Director of Arte as well as the Manager of the show. Louvain Medical reproduced here this letter.

Read more

Controversy, intolerance, non-adherence and other annoyances around the prescription of statins? How to cope?

Olivier S. Descamps Published in the journal : November 2016 Category : GRAPA

In recent years, prescription of antilipemic drugs, particularly statins, has been marked by various controversies, calling into question the patients' beliefs as to the rationale, efficacy, and usefulness of these treatments. Doctors also face regular complaints from their patients, especially of the musculo-articular type, which the patients tend to assign too readily to their statin treatment. As a result, over the past years, there has been a growing number of patients who abandon their antilipemic treatment, at times without medical advice. The adverse reactions caused by the drugs, along with the implementation of such beliefs, are rather challenging to the doctor, and this to such an extent that some physicians feel that, nowadays, it takes courage to prescribe a statin therapy, while being confronted to this public counter belief. This article attempts to address these issues, while providing a reply to the most-commonly raised accusations.

Read more

Therapeutic approach to dyslipidemia in cardiovascular prevention

O.S. Descamps Published in the journal : November 2016 Category : GRAPA

The latest guidelines, issued in August 2016 by both the European society of cardiology and European atherosclerosis society, have shed light on the therapeutic means to be implemented in order to achieve the cardiovascular risk-based lipid targets. The dietary recommendations focusing on the reduction of saturated fatty acid intakes, along with the increased consumption of grain products, vegetables, fruits, and fish, remain essential for an optimal preventive approach to cardiovascular diseases. Their benefits extend well beyond their measurable effects on the lipid profile. If these measures prove insufficient, they should be complemented by drug therapy in high-risk patients. In very-high-risk patients (e.g., with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, or renal insufficiency), drug therapy is, however, added immediately, irrespective of dietary compliance. Statins are the first-line agents for reducing LDL-cholesterol levels and must be chosen and prescribed to the required dose in order to achieve the predetermined target. Ezetimibe can be administered in combination with a statin to better reach these targets or in the event of intolerance to high statin doses. Second-line treatments, including ezetimibe, fibrates, or omega-3 supplementation in addition to ongoing statin therapy, are aimed at correcting non-HDL cholesterol levels. The introduction and reimbursement of these new drugs will likely complement these therapeutic tools.

Read more

Lipid goals

Patrick C. Chenu Published in the journal : November 2016 Category : GRAPA

Lipid goals depend on the patients' cardiovascular risk level, patients in secondary prevention being by principle at “very-high risk”. For patients in primary prevention, their cardiovascular risk must first be assessed with the aid of the “SCORE” table, except for those who can be classified without any risk calculation, owing to their many cardiovascular risk factors or associated diseases. The calculated risk SCORE must then be modulated by the patients' HDL-cholesterol levels, significant family history of premature cardiovascular disease, and certain others physical, biological, or life style parameters. Depending on the risk score obtained, we next determine the lipid objectives, along with the treatments required to achieve these goals.

Read more

Dyslipidemia management in terms of cardiovascular prevention?

Olivier S. Descamps, Patrick Chenu Published in the journal : November 2016 Category : GRAPA

Lipid management for cardiovascular disease prevention has significantly evolved over the last 20 years, and each novel recommendation brings about new proposals to further improve our patients’ prognosis. The latest 2016 guidelines overlap quite well with those of 2011, stressing once more the relevance of correcting promptly the LDL-cholesterol levels by means of first-line statin therapy. These updated guidelines, however, do define more precisely the LDL-cholesterol levels to target in very-high-risk patients, and the non-HDL cholesterol levels to target in moderate-risk patients. To achieve these targets, they also emphasize the need to combine ezetimibe with statins. Yet over the last years, the implementation of these recommendations has been threatened owing to various controversies casting doubt on statins' safety and usefulness. On account of the introduction of new anti-PCSK9 monoclonal antibodies, familial hypercholesterolemia treatment has now returned to the forefront. These new treatments, along with the more conventional agents, should enable us, at last, to correct the severely-high LDL-cholesterol levels exhibited by these patients from birth onwards. This article briefly addresses these various topics, which are detailed, point-by-point, in the following Louvain Médical issue.

Read more

Blood pressure targets in hypertensive patients with chronic kidney disease

Jean-Philippe Lengelé, Alexandre Persu Published in the journal : November 2016 Category : GRAPA

Hypertension represents a major cardiovascular risk factor worldwide.

In Belgium, chronic kidney disease is mainly related to either diabetes or hypertension. In patients with chronic kidney disease, the aim of antihypertensive therapy is to delay the decline in glomerular filtration rate and reduce cardiovascular event occurrence. Blood pressure targets <140/90-85mmHg are recommended in patients with chronic kidney disease, with likely added benefits when targeting blood pressure values <130/80mmHg for patients with hypertension and overt proteinuria. It is still too early to find out whether the SPRINT study will likely modify blood pressure targets to <120/80 mmHg for these patients.

Read more

Psycho-sexology accompanying preimplantation in erectile dysfunction patients

Ch. Debois Published in the journal : October 2016 Category : Pathologie sexuelle masculine

For patients suffering from erectile dysfunction resistant to medical treatment, surgical implantation of a penile prosthesis is a potential therapeutic solution. At the urology department of the Liege University Hospital (CETISM), a psycho-sexologic interview is proposed to the man and his partner prior to performing the implantation procedure. This check up may likely reveal the false beliefs of both the man and his partner about the implant and can identify the patient's psychopathological disturbances, while further exploring the couple's relational, emotional, cognitive and erotic life, all of which can influence the psychological outcome of the implant. This consultation is meant to provide information regarding the prosthesis and identify the resources of the couple enabling them to rehabilitate an alive intimacy after surgery. This pre-intervention interview has been shown to optimize the satisfaction rates following penile prosthetic implantation.

Read more