• 10% decrease in mortality in heart failure patients using common drugs

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10% decrease in mortality in heart failure patients using common drugs

Nov 28 2012

Commonly utilised drugs treating heart failure and high blood pressure might have broader uses than previously thought, including being used against heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFPEF), a type of heart failure which until now, was untreatable.

The mortality rate in a group of HFPEF patients who utilised these types of drugs decreased, according to a study conducted by researchers from the Karolina Institutet in Sweden.

About three per cent of the overall population suffer from heart failure which exists in two forms.

The first form lessens the ability to contract the heart, is treatable and mostly affects younger patients, particularly men.

In the second form named HFPEF, there is a reduced ability to relax the heart, affects mostly women and older people and until now it has been untreatable.

An analysis of data was taken from around 40,000 patients from the Swedish Heart Failure Registry by researchers from the Institutet, Linkoping University, Stockholm South General Hospital and Karolinska University Hospital.

The results demonstrated that patients with HFPEF who were treated with commonly utilised drugs to lower blood pressure such as angiotensin receptor blockers or ACE-inhibitors, had a higher survival rate than patients who did not receive this treatment.

When heart failure occurs, stress hormones are secreted and they are damaging to the organ over the long-term. However ACE-inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers both work to halt the undesirable effects of these hormones.

The study showed the final decrease in mortality was ten percent, after the results were adjusted for a large number of factors, such as patient age and general health.

"Large number of patients and the extensive statistical adjustments suggest a strong likelihood of a benefit from ACE-inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers. One might also add that these drugs are in comparison not that expensive," stated leader of the study, Docent Lars Lund of the Institutet.

Posted by Ben Evans


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