Cholesterol-lowering drug Found To greatly Reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack

by Medindia Content Team on  February 20, 2004 at 9:22 AM General Health News   - G J E 4
Cholesterol-lowering drug Found To greatly Reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack
Heart failure is a chronic but deadly condition caused by the heart's inability to pump efficiently.It gradually enlarges as it becomes weaker and weaker.

An estimated 5 million Americans have the condition, which will kill half of them within five years. It can be caused by high blood pressure, valve disease, clogged arteries or even an infection.

In a recent study it was seen that heart failure patients who took statins ( work by reducing inflammation, helping to better control the heart ventricles, or by decreasing an overactive sympathetic nervous system )were 55 percent less likely to die during the year after they were prescribed the drugs than patients who did not get them .Specialists said they were surprised by the magnitude of the additional benefits of statins in patients who were already on standard medications to treat heart failure.

Researchers analyzed the medical records of 551 heart-failure patients and looked to see what medications each one was given. They then looked at mortality records.They found an overall 55 percent reduction in mortality rate for heart failure patients taking a statin a year after getting the drug. This finding held no matter whether they had high cholesterol. It was also independent of age, sex, other drugs the patients were taking and other factors such as diabetes or coronary artery disease.

Researchers say the next step should be to do randomized clinical trials in which half of a group of patients gets a statin and half gets a placebo and they feel that the results of this study could indeed lead to a novel treatment for heart disease.

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