PASIG CITY, PHILIPPINES – Philippine Heart Association (PHA), the professional organization of cardiovascular specialists in the country, has released the 2014 Philippine Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Management of Coronary Artery Disease.
The PHA launched the latest guidelines during a media briefing held on November 27, 2014 at Oakwood Premier Joy~Nostalg Center Manila in Pasig City.
“These latest, updated guidelines aim to assist Filipino physicians in making clinical decisions in the management of coronary artery disease (CAD) and ultimately to improve the quality of care of Filipino patients with this life-threatening disease,” said PHA President Dr. Joel M. Abanilla.
He added, “This is a labor of love by cardiologists who take to heart guidelines and research. It was meticulously done by the 42-member PHA CAD Guidelines Writing Committee.”
It caters to doctors but the PHA wants to share the good news that this is a breakthrough because Philippine cardiology has gone beyond the phase of simply borrowing international guidelines.
“In developing these guidelines, we incorporated the results of the latest international and local studies on the pathophysiology, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of coronary artery disease. Our goal was to make international guidelines more clinically relevant and applicable to local practice while taking into account local variables and clinical data,” explained Dr. Liberty Yaneza, Chair, PHA Council on CAD.
The disease burden of coronary artery disease (CAD) in the Philippines is significant. Cardiovascular diseases rank among the top 10 leading causes of sickness in the country while diseases of the heart are among the top killers of Filipinos.1[pq]The coronary arteries are the major blood vessels that supply the heart with blood, oxygen and nutrients.[/pq]
“CAD develops when the coronary arteries become damaged or diseased, usually through the accumulation of cholesterol-containing deposits or plaque in the arteries and the inflammation this causes,”2 said Dr. Myra Dolor-Torres, Chair, PHA Task Force on Stable Ischemic Heart Disease (SIHD).
“When plaques build up, they narrow the coronary arteries, decreasing blood flow to the heart. Eventually, the decreased blood flow may cause chest pain or angina, shortness of breath, or other CAD signs and symptoms. A complete blockage can cause a heart attack. Because coronary artery disease often develops over decades, it can go unnoticed until the person suffers a heart attack,”2 said Dr. Sue Ann R. Locnen, Chair, PHA Task Force on Non-ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction (NSTEMI).
“The main risk factors of CAD are smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, sedentary lifestyle, obesity, and family history of CAD,”1 said Dr. Victor L. Lazaro, Chair, PHA Task Force on ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI).
The Task Forces correspond to the three clinical presentations of CAD. SIHD is present when a patient has one or more CAD symptoms that are manageable with either medicines or revascularization (heart bypass or angioplasty).3 NSTEMI is a less severe type of heart attack than STEMI.4
He added, “While the 2014 CAD Guidelines is a merger among Philippines, American and European Guidelines, PHA initiated and worked on it in its commitment to elevate the standards of local cardiology education and care for everyone.”
The PHA last released management guidelines for CAD in 2009. Since then however, several studies have broadened medical knowledge on CAD. Moreover 2-year data from the ongoing PHA Acute Coronary Syndrome Registry, which reflect real-world clinical practice in the local setting, contributed significantly to the development of the 2014 Philippine Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Management of Coronary Artery Disease.
1. 2014 Philippine Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Management of Coronary Artery Disease