U.S. Markets close in 2 hrs 52 mins

New Study Finds That Arterial Stiffness Precedes Hypertension

ITASCA, IL--(Marketwire - Sep 24, 2012) - AtCor Medical ( ASX : ACG ), the developer and marketer of the SphygmoCor® system, which noninvasively measures central aortic pressure and arterial stiffness, announced today that a new study* published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) showed that higher levels of arterial stiffness and central pressures were associated with increased risk of hypertension, but hypertension did not cause arterial stiffness. The study used data from the Framingham Heart Study.

An editorial in JAMA by Dr. Debabrata Muherjee commenting on the article called for focus on preventing chronic disease, saying that through identification of underlying causes, "clinicians may be able to move from today's sick care system to a true health care system that encourages health and well-being." The editorial identified three key implications from the study:

  • Using arterial stiffness as a measure of cardiovascular risk opens up additional therapeutic possibilities, such as exercise and weight management, to prevent development of hypertension

  • Noninvasive tools (such as SphygmoCor) can identify arterial stiffness and help prevent onset of hypertension

  • It may make sense to target arterial stiffness rather than treat hypertension after it has developed

Duncan Ross, AtCor Medical CEO, said, "This news has positive implications for AtCor. The methods to measure arterial stiffness accurately and noninvasively are pulse wave analysis and carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity, and the SphygmoCor system is the only device to provide a full range of parameters in a single platform. Arterial stiffness is at the heart of one of our greatest health care problems -- hypertension. It is estimated that by 2025 1.56 billion adults globally will be afflicted. The call to action, both from a patient and payer perspective, is clearly earlier identification and treatment. AtCor is well positioned to play an important role in this imperative."

CDC Report highlights need for more effective treatment 

The issue of hypertension was highlighted in a new US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) analysis** revealed that of the estimated 66.9 million adults in the US with hypertension, 35.8 million did not have their hypertension controlled. Approximately 16 million of those patients being treated with medication for their hypertension were still considered uncontrolled.

"Measuring central pressure and arterial stiffness is very helpful in selecting the most effective hypertension medication and in managing drug therapy," said Matthew Budoff, a cardiologist and hypertension specialist at University of California, Los Angeles CA. "If we see that a hypertension patient has significant levels of arterial stiffness, we are more likely to prescribe a hypertension medical with a vasodilating effect, one that relaxes the arteries. Many studies, and our clinical experience, show that drugs can affect central and brachial pressures differently, primarily because of their effect -- or lack of effect -- on arterial stiffness."

About AtCor Medical

AtCor Medical develops and markets products for the early detection of cardiovascular risk and management of cardiovascular disease. Its technology allows researchers and clinicians to measure central aortic pressure and arterial stiffness nonininvasively. The company's SphygmoCorr ® system visibly identifies the effects of reflected blood pressure in the central aortic pressure wave, effects which cannot be detected with standard blood pressure monitoring. More than 2,900 SphygmoCor ® systems are currently in use worldwide at major medical centers, in physicians' offices, research institutions and in clinical trials with leading pharmaceutical companies. The company's technology has been featured in over 600 peer-reviewed studies published in leading medical journals. AtCor has operations in Australia, the United States and Europe. For further information, please visit our web site at www.atcormedical.com.

*Kaes et al; Aortic stiffness, blood pressure progression and incident hypertension, JAMA September 5, 2012

**Vital Signs: Awareness and Treatment of Uncontrolled Hypertension Among Adults -- United States, 2003-2010 CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report September 7, 2012 61(35);703-709