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28.10.2015 – 09:01

Daiichi Sankyo Europe GmbH

World Stroke Day: Key Risk Factors Atrial Fibrillation and Hypertension Need Detection and Treatment

Munich (ots/PRNewswire)

- On World Stroke Day (29 October) a campaign by Daiichi Sankyo highlights stroke
  risks associated with cardiovascular diseases 
- People with atrial fibrillation have a five times higher stroke risk compared to the
  general population.[1] In Europe less than 50% of patients with hypertension are
  sufficiently controlled[2] 
- Initiative "Make Your Heart Feel Good" aims for better disease management and better
  adherence: the free "Meds on Time" App provides personalized reminders for patients to
  improve compliance with treatment regimens in all therapy areas 

For more information on World Stroke Day and to access our interactive infographic, please click here [].

(Photo: )

A European initiative by Daiichi Sankyo highlights the risks associated with cardiovascular diseases on the occasion of its support for "World Stroke Day 2015". Daiichi Sankyo's campaign is calling for a special focus on atrial fibrillation (AF) and high blood pressure. It is estimated that 33.5 million individuals have AF (2010 figures) [3] and hypertension is one of the leading health risks worldwide causing up to 9.4 million deaths annually.[4]

The Campaign "Make Your Heart Feel Good" points out that high blood pressure and AF are interlinked as studies suggest that hypertension is the disease most likely to predict that someone will develop AF in the future.[5] People with AF incur a danger to their health as those with an arrhythmia have a five times higher stroke risk compared to the general population.[1] In patients with AF, the presence of hypertension increases stroke risk even further.[6]

"Many people are still not aware of the symptoms of AF and may go undiagnosed leaving them exposed to a much higher risk of AF-related stroke," commented Trudie Lobban MBE, Founder and CEO of the Arrhythmia Alliance, STARS and the AF Association. "The public needs to understand that symptoms such as breathlessness, dizziness and heart palpitations need to be checked at once by a doctor. AF can be detected using a simple pulse check to identify if your heart rhythm is irregular. By knowing your pulse and sharing this with your doctor it can lead to a quicker diagnosis. It is important to 'Know Your Pulse'.

Better Disease Management

European statistics point out that prevention can play an important role in reducing mortality. One opportunity is better disease management. In Europe the blood pressure target of <140/90 mmHg,[7] is achieved only in 32% to 46% of patients, suggesting that up to 70% are not sufficiently controlled.[2] According to estimates, decreasing the population's systolic blood pressure by 5 mmHg through prevention, lifestyle changes and other measures could reduce stroke deaths by 14%.[8] Therefore Daiichi Sankyo encourages healthcare professionals to work together for better hypertension and AF management. Current initiatives in France,[9] Italy,[10] and Austria[11] try to raise the proportion of patients who reach their blood pressure target up to 70%.

AF is frequently underdiagnosed[12] with many AF sufferers not receiving adequate management.[13] Detecting an irregular heart rhythm might be as simple as a manual pulse check, with any unusual rhythm verified with an electrocardiogram (ECG).[12]

To learn more about the signs and symptoms of AF and to conduct a pulse check, follow the 'Check Your Pulse' guide in the interactive infographic:

Better Adherence via "Meds on Time" App

Medicines play a crucial role in helping many people with long-term health conditions such as AF to manage their symptoms. However, taking regular medication according to the doctor's instructions can often be difficult for patients, with around half failing to do so. In Europe this non-adherence to treatment costs governments an estimated EUR125 billion and contributes to the premature deaths of nearly 200,000 Europeans every year.[14]

To help make it easier for patients to increase their adherence and to receive the full benefit from their medication, Daiichi Sankyo has developed a free and user-friendly smartphone application which can provide tailored reminders to patients. The application, called "Meds on Time", also offers a range of additional functionalities. Patients can monitor their adherence history to help them identify problems with taking medicines as prescribed, and discuss their experiences with their doctor.

About the App "Meds on Time"

The English app is ready for download and is currently available in app stores in Germany, the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxemburg. Local language versions will be available shortly. Patients can also search their app store for "Meds on Time".

About "Make Your Heart Feel Good"

The initiative "Make Your Heart Feel Good" looks to a successful Canadian Program for best practice. The Canadian Hypertension Education Program (CHEP) saw dramatic increases in diagnosis and treatment resulting in profound changes. The number of Canadian patients whose blood pressure was on target rose from 13.2% (1992) to 64.6% (2009), which resulted in a 6% reduction in death from stroke and a 16% reduction in myocardial infarction.[15]

About World Stroke Day

To help patients understand the relationship between AF and stroke risk, Daiichi Sankyo Europe created a short animated video on AF. It presents easy-to-understand explanations and is available at:

About Atrial Fibrillation

- AF, a disorder of the rhythm of the heart, is a leading cause of death and
- AF is the most common sustained arrhythmia in the general population affecting
  approximately 1.5-2% of the population in the developed world[1]

More information on the AF Association can be found on their website: Further information on the 'Know Your Pulse' campaign can be also found at:

About Hypertension

- Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is a condition in which the blood
  vessels have persistently raised pressure[16]
- If left uncontrolled, hypertension may lead to serious cardiovascular health
  complications such as heart attack or stroke[16]

About Daiichi Sankyo

Daiichi Sankyo Group is dedicated to the creation and supply of innovative pharmaceutical products to address diversified, unmet medical needs of patients in both mature and emerging markets. With over 100 years of scientific expertise and a presence in more than 20 countries, Daiichi Sankyo and its 17,000 employees around the world draw upon a rich legacy of innovation and a robust pipeline of promising new medicines to help people. In addition to its strong portfolio of medicines for hypertension, dyslipidemia, bacterial infections, and thrombotic disorders, the Group's research and development is focused on bringing forth novel therapies in cardiovascular-metabolic diseases, pain management, and oncology, including biologics. For more information, please visit:

About Daiichi Sankyo Europe

Daiichi Sankyo's European base is located in Munich and has affiliates in 12 European countries in addition to a global manufacturing site located in Pfaffenhofen, Germany. For more information, please visit:

Forward-looking statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements and information about future developments in the sector, and the legal and business conditions of DAIICHI SANKYO Co., Ltd. Such forward-looking statements are uncertain and are subject at all times to the risks of change, particularly to the usual risks faced by a global pharmaceutical company, including the impact of the prices for products and raw materials, medication safety, changes in exchange rates, government regulations, employee relations, taxes, political instability and terrorism as well as the results of independent demands and governmental inquiries that affect the affairs of the company. All forward-looking statements contained in this release hold true as of the date of publication. They do not represent any guarantee of future performance. Actual events and developments could differ materially from the forward-looking statements that are explicitly expressed or implied in these statements. DAIICHI SANKYO Co., Ltd. assume no responsibility for the updating of such forward-looking statements about future developments of the sector, legal and business conditions and the company.


1. Camm A et al. Non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants and atrial fibrillation guidelines in practice: barriers to and strategies for optimal implementation. Europace. 2015;17:1007-1017.

2. Banegas JR et al. Achievement of treatment goals for primary prevention of cardiovascular disease in clinical practice across Europe: the EURIKA study. Eur Heart J. 2011;32:2143-52. // Tocci G et al. Blood pressure control in Italy: analysis of clinical data from 2005-2011 surveys on hypertension. J Hypertens. 2012;30:1065-74.

3. Chugh SS et al. Worldwide Epidemiology of Atrial Fibrillation: A Global Burden of Disease 2010 Study. Circulation. 2014;129(8):837-847.

4. Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. Global Burden of Disease. Available at: Last accessed September 2015.

5. Kannel WB, Abbott RD, Savage DD, McNamara PM. Epidemiologic features of chronic atrial fibrillation: the Framingham study. N Engl J Med. 1982;306:1018-1022.

6. Healey JS et al. Atrial fibrillation: hypertension as a causative agent, risk factor for complications, and potential therapeutic target. Am J Cardiol. 2003;91(10A) :9G-14G.

7. Mancia et al. 2013 ESH/ESC Guidelines for the management of arterial hypertension: the Task Force for the management of arterial hypertension of the European Society of Hypertension (ESH) and of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). J Hypertens. 2013;31:1281-357.

8. Whelton P et al. National High Blood Pressure Education Program Coordinating Committee. Primary prevention of hypertension: Clinical and public health advisory from the National High Blood Pressure Education Program. JAMA. 2002;288:1882-1888.

9. Mourad, JJ et al. Objective for 2015:70% of treated and controlled hypertensive patients. J Mal Vasc. 2012;37(6):295-9.

10. Volpe M et al. 2012 consensus document of the Italian Society of Hypertension (SIIA): strategies to improve blood pressure control in Italy: from global cardiovascular risk stratification to combination therapy. High Blood Press Cardiovasc Prev. 2013;20(1) :45-52.

11. Rohla M et al. Blutdrucksenkung in der Primärversorgung Wiens. Ärzte Krone. 2015;9:38-40.

12. Camm A et al. Guidelines for the management of atrial fibrillation: the Task Force for the Management of Atrial Fibrillation of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). European Heart Journal. 2010;31:2369-429.

13. Ogilvie IM et al. Underuse of oral anticoagulants in atrial fibrillation: a systematic review. Am J Med. 2010;123:638-645e4.

14. European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations. Patient Adherence. Available at: Last accessed October 2015.

15. McAlister FA et al. Changes in the rates of awareness, treatment and control of hypertension in Canada over the past two decades. CMAJ. 2011;183;1007-13. // Campbell et al. Increases in Antihypertensive Prescriptions and Reductions in Cardiovascular Events in Canada. Hypertension. 2009;53;128-134.

16. WHO. Q&As on Hypertension. Available at: Last accessed October 2015.


Lydia Worms (Europe) 
Daiichi Sankyo Europe GmbH 
Edoxaban Comm. & Product PR Europe 

Maike Zander 
Daiichi Sankyo Europe GmbH 
Corporate Communications 


DSC/15/0047 Date of preparation: October 2015


Original content of: Daiichi Sankyo Europe GmbH, transmitted by news aktuell

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