Cardiovascular and metabolism

Our medical innovations treat cardiovascular and metabolism diseases such as heart attacks and diabetes
Cardiovascular diseases are the number one cause of death globally.

Worldwide, over 30% of all deaths are attributable to cardiovascular disease (CVD).1 The increasing incidence and high cost of care of CVDs demand a global approach to prevention, early detection & treatment, and monitoring of disease progression. Used in conjunction with clinical information, cardiac biomarkers are crucial to support rapid and accurate diagnosis, especially in acute cases where every minute counts.

As a market leader in cardiac biomarkers, Roche offers diagnostic tests for heart failure (HF), acute coronary syndrome (ACS), and atrial fibrillation (AF).

In the Middle East, Roche Diagnostics hosts the Middle East’s Cardiovascular Regional Experts Symposium – iCaRE – that brings together leading regional and international experts to share the latest reference points in cardiovascular disease management, as well as best practices and success stories from their fields. At the heart of the discussions were the latest diagnostic methods and tests to detect this non-communicable disease and the participants’ role in their prevention.

Cardiovascular Disease

Making a difference in cardiovascular care

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) covers a range of conditions affecting the heart and circulatory system. These include coronary heart disease, angina, heart attack and stroke.

Countries in Africa and the Middle East bear a heavy burden from cardiovascular disease. The prevalence of coronary heart disease is promoted in turn by a high prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors, particularly smoking, hypertension, dyslipidemia, diabetes, and sedentary lifestyles. Patients in Africa and the Middle East present with myocardial infarction at a younger age, on average, compared with patients elsewhere. The projected future burden of mortality from coronary heart disease in Africa and the Middle East is set to outstrip that observed in other geographical regions.1

Recent detailed nationally representative epidemiological data are lacking for many countries, and high proportions of transient expatriate workers in countries such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates complicate the construction of such datasets. However, the development of national registries in some countries is beginning to reveal the nature of coronary heart disease. Improving lifestyles (reducing calorie intake and increasing physical activity) in patients in the region will be essential, although cultural and environmental barriers will render this difficult. Appropriate prescribing of pharmacologic treatments is essential in the prevention and management of cardiovascular disease.

Roche has a long history of expertise in this field, with a track record in providing therapies and diagnostic tools to support the growing number of people with heart disease and the professionals who care for them. Today, Roche is focused on the diagnosis, monitoring and treatment of cardiovascular disease.


Cardiovascular disease - the heart of the matter

The heart is a pump which keeps blood moving around the body so it can deliver oxygen to the cells and remove carbon dioxide and other waste products.

The cardiovascular system contains about five litres of blood which is continuously circulating. Every day the heart beats around 100,000 times and pumps about 23,000 litres of blood.

A number of different diseases affect this system.

In coronary heart disease, a build up of fatty deposits effectively causes the coronary arteries to narrow. This narrowing and alteration of the vessel wall makes it harder for the artery to supply blood to the heart and over time can prevent blood getting through. The result is angina – the symptoms of which are pain or discomfort in the chest.

A heart attack occurs when a piece of the fatty deposit breaks away from the artery wall and causes a blood clot. If the clot blocks the artery, the heart muscle is starved of blood and oxygen.

Strokes are also caused by similar blockages but in this instance the blockages occur in the arteries in the neck that carry blood to the brain.

At Roche, our research into the molecular diagnostics of cardiovascular disease is continuing to develop our understanding of the disease and drive our research into new diagnostic solutions and treatment options.


Understanding the causes of cardiovascular disease

There are a range of risk factors for cardiovascular disease, including smoking, high blood pressure, cholesterol levels, lack of exercise, overweight, diabetes, family history and age. Some ethnic groups also have a higher risk.


Diagnosing cardiovascular disease

Lives are saved and quality of life is protected by rapid diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease. In particular, every minute counts in the treatment of heart attacks.

As the leader in in-vitro diagnostics, Roche is driving improvements in the early diagnosis of cardiovascular disease. We provide cutting edge technology to enable healthcare professionals to make rapid decisions on the best treatment.


Managing cardiovascular disease

With early and accurate diagnosis, current treatments can relieve the symptoms of cardiovascular disease, slow its progression and improve survival.

Doctors use a wide range of treatments and techniques to tackle cardiovascular disease and they vary according to individual conditions. Some people need surgical intervention whilst others are prescribed medicines to control high blood pressure or lower cholesterol.

Many people who have cardiovascular disease may be prescribed a medicine called an anticoagulant. These inhibit the production of vitamin K in the liver, increasing the time it takes the blood to clot and thereby reducing the risk of clots forming.

There are additional factors that need to be taken into consideration whilst a person is being treated, such as diet, stress, illness and other drugs. Regular testing is therefore essential to reduce the risk of complications such as clots or bleeding.

The testing aims at measuring two elements - Prothrombin Time (PT) or International Normalised Ratio (INR). Traditionally, people had to have blood samples taken at a doctor's office or clinic and wait some time for the results. Today, there are quicker, easier and more convenient options.

More and more people with cardiovascular disease are now monitoring their medication themselves. Self-monitoring makes regular testing easier, gives people more independence and involves them in their own health management, in collaboration with their doctor.

Roche’s diagnostics team works closely with healthcare practitioners to ensure people have access to the most appropriate monitoring systems and devices. We would like to see everyone who could appropriately benefit from self-monitoring to be able to do so.

The Future

Through innovation and the constant excel in medicine and reasearch and development, cardiovascular diseases will become more manageable and imporve the quality of life. Roche puts patient care first and aims to achieve quality and longevity of life.


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Highlights from 2020 Cardiovascular Regional Experts Symposium

Dr. Ziad Hijazi at Cardiovascular Regional Experts Symposia 2018

Dr. Abdullah Shehab at Cardiovascular Regional Experts Symposia 2018

Interview with Dr. Rabih Azar at 2020 Cardiovascular Regional Experts Symposia - iCaRE

Dr. Waleed Al Habeeb at Cardiovascular Regional Experts Symposia 2018

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Striking back at stroke risk

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