Aventis Pharma Limited (Group sanofi-aventis) today announced the launch of SITE (Screening India‘s Twin Epidemic),a cross-sectional study that aims to estimate the prevalence of diagnosed and undiagnosed cases of diabetes and hypertension in outpatient settings in major cities across India. The study will involve 1000 general practitioners including consultant physicians and over 20,000 patients from 10 States namely - Maharashtra, New Delhi, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh; making it one of the largest study of its kind in India. The study was commissioned by sanofi-aventis with the aim of quantifying and increasing awareness amongst medical professionals and patients on the lurking likelihood of a twin epidemic of diabetes and hypertension.

The sanofi-aventis SITE study will screen 20,000 patients, covering a wide variety of people, including businessmen, working professionals and housewives, mainly in metro cities, aged 18 years and above; was started in Maharashtra in Jan 2009 and are expected to conclude with collated results from all 10 States by December 2010. The principal coordinators of the study recently announced the completion of the study in Maharashtra and New Delhi, with the results expected to be announced shortly.
The sanofi-aventis SITE study has taken into account various parameters — medical history, family history, diet, demographic data height, weight, waist and hip circumference, blood pressure, pulse, treatment history and fasting blood test for lipids, glucose, (including HbA1c) as well as urine for proteins. Dr. Muruga Vadivale, Senior Director Medical and Regulatory Affairs, sanofi-aventis India says, “With India having the largest number of diabetic patients in the world, the disease is posing an enormous health as well as economic problem to the country. The sanofi-aventis SITE study reinforces our commitment to an in-depth involvement in one of India‘s key public health issues and in creating awareness about the dormant twin epidemic waiting to explode. We hope to provide medical professionals with valuable insights on the twin epidemic of Diabetes and Hypertension. We also want to create awareness amongst them and patients about screening for these diseases at the earliest.”

Dr. Shashank Joshi, Consultant Endocrinologist, Lilavati Hospital and National Coordinator of sanofi-aventis SITE study said, “Through SITE we hope to identify gaps in treatment needs at the first point of contact for a patient. Since SITE is being conducted at the general practitioners‘ and consultant physicians level, it will give us important insights on how we screen patients for risk factors and how well we manage them versus current guidelines.”
Cardiovascular death rates are high and appear to be climbing in countries like India where diabetes is highly prevalent. In India, in the past five decades, rates of coronary disease among urban population have risen from 4% to 11%1. The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that 60% of the world‘s cardiac patients will be Indians by 20102. With the rising tide of diabetes in India, the double jeopardy of diabetes and hypertension is set to result in an explosion of cardiovascular and other complications unless preventive action is taken now.
Says Susheel Umesh, Senior Director - Cardio-Metabolism Business Unit, “That India has the largest diabetic population is well known. But what is important is to reinforce the need for early detection, early diagnosis and timely management of both hypertension and diabetes. Through sanofi-aventis SITE study we want to delve deeper into how this can be done more effectively”.
About the SANOFI-AVENTIS SITE study: Screening India‘s Twin Epidemic (SITE) is a national, multi-centric, non randomized, observational study with the aim of collecting information on the prevalence of diagnosed and undiagnosed diabetes and hypertension cases in out-patient clinics in major Indian cities and to understand the extent of associated risk factors among these patients. The study involving 20, 000 patients across 1,000 centers in Maharashtra, New Delhi, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh was commissioned by sanofi-aventis with the aim of understanding the management and level of control for diabetes and hypertension in the country and then creating awareness amongst doctors and patients regarding the need for early diagnosis for better disease management.