According to WHO, Vietnam is a country vulnerable to heart diseases with currently over 25 percent of people aged 25 years old and above having hypertension. Coronary artery disease (CAD), is on the rise in Vietnam, already impacting nearly 10 percent of the population.
Cardiovascular disease is one of the top ten causes of death in Vietnam. 20 percent of the Vietnamese population is expected to have heart diseases by 2017, reported by the World Cardiovascular Association in October 2014.
On an occasion of his visit to Vietnam, Krishna Sudhir, Vice President of Medical Affairs of Abbott Vascular, has discussed with Thanh Nien News on risk factors, new treatment options for CAD as well as recommendations for prevention.
As the world’s top expert in vascular and being a Consulting Professor of Medicine at the Center for Cardiovascular Technology, Stanford University, what are your advice to Vietnamese people to maintain strong heart and health? And when there is vascular problem, what are the steps patients should take to get the best treatment?
High cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, smoking and diabetes are main risk factors. Therefore it is recommended to maintain a healthy lifestyle of balanced eating and exercise habit. Eating healthy and balanced with plenty of vegetables or fruit very important role in protecting our heart and avoid food high in fat, especially saturated fat, which can lead to high cholesterol, a major component of plaque causing narrowed heart arteries.
In addition, maintaining frequent diagnoses for risk factors for early detection and timely treatment helps decrease the rates of death from CAD. There are four ways of treatments, including: lifestyle changes, medications (using medicine) and medical procedures such as coronary artery bypass graft surgery or the less-invasive angioplasty.
As CAD is a growing epidemic here, there have been innovative technologies available for patients in, including Abbott’s Absorb Bioresorbable Vascular Scaffold (BVS) - the first drug-eluting, fully bioresorbable device of its kind.
How is Absorb innovative and how does it work?
Absorb is a first-of-its-kind device that functions like a permanent, metallic stent by opening a blocked artery in the heart, restoring blood flow and providing relief from symptoms of CAD. However, unlike a metallic stent, which permanently restricts vessel movement and limits future treatment options, Absorb is made of a naturally dissolvable material that leaves behind a restored vessel in a natural state, free of a permanent implant.
An unrestricted vessel with restored vessel function has the potential to flex, pulse and dilate in response to various demands on the heart, based on people's lifestyle and activities, and allows for potential future treatment options.
What’s the benefits of Absorb to patients and doctors in treatment of CAD in Vietnam?
Absorb is Abbott’s significant advancement made of innovative material to take treatment to the next level, help heal the body faster, and contribute to faster recovery time.
Being the first of its kind introduced to Vietnam in December 2012, Absorb has seen an upward adoption curve with more than 400 implantation on patients. Absorb provides unique benefits to patients not possible with metallic stents, including increases of ability to restore the vessel to its natural state over time, a return of natural vessel motion, ability to have future interventions at the site and the natural vessel curvature. Vietnamese people can have access to state of the art healthcare technologies and solutions from Abbott, which tackles the increasing healthcare challenges of local communities.
What’s Abbott main competitors in the field of CAD treatment and rivaled products?
Abbott is the first to bring a fully dissolving stent to market through Absorb, the next revolution in PCI therapy. We welcome all research and investment in this technology as competition will create more advanced technologies that help reduce the burden of heart diseases around the world.
There were more than 125,000 patients with coronary artery stenosis having been treated with Absorb worldwide.
Our trials reported in San Francisco and London showed that the stent itself naturally dissolves in about 2 and a half years after the stent is implanted, allowing the patient go on with their life normally. The ratio of revascularization is as low as 1-2% of drug-eluting stent, but holds the promise of lower rates long term because of lumen expansion. This is the biggest advantage of Absorb.
What will be Abbott’s future strategy and investment for Absorb?
Our proposition lies on our continuous investment into research and development to advance the treatment of vascular diseases through breakthrough medical technologies that are less invasive, allowing people to restore their health faster and get on with their lives. For example, in 2012, we introduced Absorb to Vietnam and in 2014 we brought a new minimally invasive treatment option for mitral regurgitation called MitraClip.
With this in mind, we will continue to invest in innovating new, more high-quality solutions that are more accessible to Vietnamese – across the spectrum of health - for all stages of life - that help people reach their potential through their best health. In addition, we will continue to study Absorb in our robust clinical trials to show the long-term benefits of Absorb that differentiate it from permanent, metallic stents.