Ivabradine, a medicine used to lower the heart rate, is also effective in reducing the risk of diastolic heart failure and cardiac fibrosis, according to a new study.
The study was conducted on rabbits given a standard diet, a cholesterol-enriched diet or a cholesterol-enriched diet with ivabradine.
It revealed that as well as improving the myocardial performance index, ivabradine greatly improved left ventricular diastolic dysfunction in animals receiving a cholesterol-enriched diet. Ivabradine also reduced fibrosis of the heart chambers.
According to Dr. Jean-Claude Tardif, Director of the MHI Research Centre and professor of medicine at the Universite de Montreal, the results are both interesting and encouraging.
"The effectiveness of ivabradine in treating angina pectoris is now well known. However, few treatments are available to patients with diastolic heart failure," she added.
The study has been published in the scientific journal Cardiology.