Hope for the Heart: Experts say heart failure is treatable if caught early

Heart failure, commonly called “pumapalyang puso”, affects thousands of Filipinos and approximately 64 million people worldwide, with half of patients dying within five years of diagnosis 1, 2, 3, 4. 

Heart health experts pledge to give hope and fight heart failure.

Patients with heart failure experience physical and emotional symptoms. It limits their activities resulting to poor quality of life. Even when resting, some patients start experiencing shortness of breath and feeling gets heavier and heavier each day. Everyday activities are getting harder making them feel very vulnerable and hopeless. Many patients have shared that they feel as if they are merely waiting for death and feel guilty about placing a huge economic and emotional burden on their families. 

Love Your Heart: A New Hope for the Failing Heart

The good news is that heart failure can be treated and even prevented. To raise conversation and awareness, AstraZeneca Philippines hosted a panel of experts from the Philippines and around the world to discuss the latest developments on heart failure. 

According to Professor David Sim, President of the Heart Failure Society in Singapore, 9 million people  in Southeast Asia have heart failure with an overall 15% mortality rate 5,6. However, pharmacological  options for heart failure have increased over the last decade and guideline-directed heart failure  pharmacotherapy cumulatively reduces mortality by 76% 7. He highlighted “The approval of  dapagliflozin for the treatment of HFrEF in Philippines is a major step forward in the battle against  the disease burden of heart failure. Together with the current standard of care, dapagliflozin will  contribute further to a lower mortality , less heart failure hospitalization and importantly a better  quality of life for the patients suffering from heart failure”. 

Professor Piotor Ponikowski of the Heart Failure Association of the European Society of Cardiology added that "heart failure is becoming a preventable and treatable disease, with medication that allows patients to live longer and live better outside of the hospital.” 

These current developments in the treatment options bring hope to Filipinos diagnosed with heart failure. With the approval of AstraZeneca’s Dapagliflozin as a treatment option for heart failure, Filipinos can now avail of medication that can mitigate the disease. 

In his presentation on "Dapagliflozin and Prevention of Adverse-outcomes in Heart Failure Trial (DAPA HF) Trial: A New Era in Heart Failure Management," Professor Piotr Ponikowski says “Dapagliflozin has the ability to reduce mortality, prevent hospital admission, improve clinical status, functional capacity, and quality of life.” 

As such, to further work towards improved quality care in the Philippines, AstraZeneca also announced a partnership with the Philippine Heart Association (PHA) to elevate the standardized care and quality improvement efforts for heart failure to promote better awareness, management and options for patients. 

Lotis Ramin, AstraZeneca Philippines Country President says, “During this COVID-19 pandemic,  people with heart failure are among those at higher risk of complications. Proper disease  management will help improve the condition and avoid hospitalization. With the approval of  Dapagliflozin for use in adult patients suffering from heart failure with reduced ejection fraction, , we  are proud to give hope to the numerous Filipinos affected by heart failure. Through our partnership  with PHA, we aim for a comprehensive cardiovascular care program from prevention, timely  diagnosis, and management of symptoms for heart failure to create a meaningful difference in the  lives of Filipinos.”  

Do not delay. Get an early diagnosis and begin treatment. Start a conversation on heart failure with your doctor today. 

About Dapagliflozin 

Dapagliflozin isthe first and only drug under the sodium glucose transport protein 2 inhibitor (SGLT2i)  class approved to treat heart failure in adult patients with reduced ejection fraction (pumapalyang puso). 10,11,12 It is the only SGLT2i proven to significantly prevent cardiovascular death and death due to other causes in these heart failure patients.9 

This approval was based on the landmark trial Dapagliflozin and Prevention of Adverse-outcomes in  Heart Failure Trial (DAPA HF) 1. It is the first outcomes trial with an SGLT2 inhibitor investigating the  treatment of Heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF).1 The results showed a reduction of  26% in the occurence of cardiovascular death, hospitalization for heart failure (hHF) and Urgent  Hospital Visit for heart failure (HF) along with a 30% reduction in hHF. 1 Dapagliflozin’s significant 18%  reduction in cardiovascular death and 17% reduction on death due to other causes which were only  seen in the DAPA HF study. 9 

Dapagliflozin has offered an additional treatment option for patients suffering from the symptoms of  heart failure and are at risk of dying given the high mortality rate of the disease. Safety findings in  patients were consistent with the well established safety profile of Dapagliflozin in previous studies.  It is consistent regardless of age, gender, severity of heart failure, diabetes status and kidney  function1. Dapagliflozin was well tolerated and adverse event rarely led to the discontinuation of  treatment1,8.  

In the Philippines, Dapagliflozin is now approved for the treatment of heart failure with reduced  ejection fraction in adult patients. Dapagliflozin is a prescription medicine.10 Patients should not self medicate and should consult their physicians regarding their condition and treatment. 

About AstraZeneca 

AstraZeneca (LSE/STO/Nasdaq: AZN) is a global,science-led biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialization of prescription medicines, primarily for the treatment of diseases in three therapy areas - Oncology, Cardiovascular, Renal & Metabolism, and Respiratory & Immunology. Based in Cambridge, UK, AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and

its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide. Please visit astrazeneca.com and follow the Company on Twitter @AstraZeneca. 

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