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What are Haemorrhoids (HD) and Chronic Venous Disease (CVD)?
In a bid to raise awareness on these two prevailing health problems facing Malaysians, French-based pharmaceutical company Servier Malaysia has taken on a comedic approach to engage the Malaysian medical fraternity and educate the public about these diseases.
Graced by Dr Chong Chin Eu, Principal Assistant Director, Medical Development Division, Ministry of Health Malaysia, the health campaign event cum soft launch of Servier’s new Daflon 1000 mg micronized flavonoid tablet, featured stand-up comedian Andrew Netto who tickled the audience’s funny bone yet drove home an important message of the day: “Don’t Sit on It Lah!”
The satirical act addressed some of the key concerns relating to these non-communicable diseases (NCDs), including the importance of seeking early treatment, understanding the medical options available and healthy lifestyle modification.
As with most healthcare issues in Malaysia, we are guilty of often ‘sitting on the matter’ until we reach dire situation and when extreme measures have to be taken to remedy the situation.
HD, commonly known to many as piles, is a condition that is usually perceived as a taboo. Some patients are embarrassed to see a doctor although there are effective medical solutions.
Aside from varicose veins, most patients are unaware of CVD and how it can progress to more severe stages leading up to leg ulcers. According to the multi-centre Chronic venous & HemORrhoidal diseases evalUation and Scientific research (CHORUS) study, > 50% patients treated for piles also have CVD.
Do you know that HD and CVD are both diseases related to blood circulation in the lower body and linked with weak tone of veins. People at risk of developing HD include those adopting a sedentary lifestyle, patients who are obese or chronically constipated, those with low-fibre diet and/or high spice diet, those with a family history of HD and addicted mobile device users and/or engaging in bathroom reading while sitting on the toilet.
Additionally, if your job involve a lot of standing, such as hawkers, teachers, chefs, factory workers, those in F&B and retail service, cabin crew, nurses, and those who wear heels for long durations, are at risk of developing CVD. Pregnant women are the subset of patients at risk of developing both HD and CVD.
According Servier Malaysia General Manager Dr Kshitij Panse, the company aims to be one of the leaders in combating venous disease by helping patients live with healthier veins. “We strive to raise awareness for chronic venous disease, haemorrhoidal disease and their consequences, as well as to work with health care providers to ensure that patients are benefiting from the appropriate care,” he said.
In August 2019, medical technology firm Hello Doktor helped Servier conduct the Daflon Survey here in Malaysia. Among the 599 respondents, 50% indicated that they have or had haemorrhoids in their lifetime. What is also alarming is that among those who have experienced haemorrhoids among the respondents, it was visual symptoms such as bleeding and prolapsed haemorrhoids that prompted them to seek help for their condition.
Yet more than half (61%) of the total respondents had not discussed piles within six months prior to the survey. Among those who did indeed engage in a discussion regarding piles, it appeared more males (41.1%) than females (32.6%) had this tough conversation. However, interestingly among those who have had piles, it was the women who were 10 times more likely to discuss it with someone close than males who are more likely to seek a doctor directly.
While most of the respondents said they are familiar with some kind of treatment made available for piles, 38% indicated they were unfamiliar with treatment options.
Although many Malaysians may not familiar with the term CVD, 64% responded that either they experienced or know someone who often have leg pain, heaviness in the legs or leg cramps that is worsened by prolonged standing; symptoms of CVD. By far, most respondents (58%) were concerned about ‘spider’ or varicose veins, because it causes pain or discomfort.
Thus, there is an urgent need to spread awareness on the topic of piles and CVD. Prior to the introduction of Daflon 1000mg today to help improve compliance among patients, the Daflon 500mg tablet has been available to treat piles and CVD patients in Malaysia for over 40 years. Daflon is a micronized flavonoid are sourced from natural ingredients, namely orange peel that is well-studied with proven efficacy.