This article is sponsored content brought to you by Ceva Animal Health.
The Mercury Challenge was first launched in 2019 in Europe with the aim to collectdata on more than 10,000 cats over the age of 7, across 20 countries. These cats had their blood pressure measured as part of their routine health checks.
To date, this is the largest observational study ever conducted on blood pressure measurements in cats, with over 800 clinics participating in the data collection. It has revealed some interesting results, including that 40% of cats seen in clinic are classified as hypertensive according to the current guidelines (blood pressure value above 160 mmHg) and 21% being classified as severely hypertensive (blood pressure value greater than 180 mmHg).
Hypertension is a ticking bomb for feline health and can cause severe damage to key organs, resulting in ocular, renal, cardiac and neurological damage.
The absence of early warning signs is the reason why this condition is often referred to as the ‘silent killer’. As it is often diagnosed too late it can have a devastating impact on cats’ health: damage can be irreversible and severely impact affected cats’ quality of life.
Early diagnosis and treatment of hypertension helps to reduce the impact of this disease. If treated properly and early enough, cats can recover from their lesions and maintain a good quality of life despite the ongoing disease.
Identifying Hypertension Earlier
A simple examination during routine consults can help in identifying affected cats earlier: the Mercury Challenge results demonstrate that blood pressure can be measured in less than 10 minutes in over 90% of cats. This quick and easy examination is recommended once a year in cats aged from 7 years onwards, and especially in cats suffering from chronic kidney disease or hyperthyroidism.
The Mercury Challenge has also revealed that one in two cats suffering from one or both condition(s) was also diagnosed as hypertensive.
The higher-than-anticipated percentage of hypertensive cats discovered in the initial study has resulted in a Phase 2 of the Mercury Challenge starting in May 2022.
The Mercury Challenge 2 will aim at collecting data including blood pressure and treatment in cats diagnosed with chronic kidney disease and/or hyperthyroidism.
For the first time, Australian clinics will also be able to contribute data to this study and help improve knowledge about the management of hypertension in cats suffering from these two concurrent diseases and to raise awareness about the importance of an early diagnosis, which can contribute to a better quality of life and welfare.
For more information on how to participate in this global study, speak to a Ceva representative today or go to www.mercurychallenge.ceva.com from 1st May 2022.