Drugs to pre­vent heart at­tacks may also lessen their sever­ity

Health & Nutrition - - HEART SPECIAL -

Peo­ple at high risk for a heart at­tack of­ten take cer­tain med­i­ca­tions to re­duce that risk. New re­search pub­lished by ‘PLOS ONE’ ex­plored whether tak­ing such drugs not only low­ers risk, but also re­duces the sever­ity of any at­tacks that do oc­cur. The study in­cluded 14,790 peo­ple hos­pi­tal­ized for acute coro­nary syn­drome. About half of this group had a his­tory of car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease and a pre­vi­ous event, while the re­main­der had nei­ther. The re­searchers com­pared pa­tients’ past use of four types of drugs – as­pirin, statins, ACE in­hibitors, and beta block­ers – and the sever­ity of their dis­ease, as mea­sured by blood pres­sure, heart rate, and ar­rhyth­mias. Com­pared with those who did not take th­ese drugs, pa­tients who took one, two, three, or all four types had a re­duc­tion of 23%, 33%, 52%, and 41% re­spec­tively, in their risk for a ma­jor car­dio­vas­cu­lar event, in­clud­ing re­cur­rence of a heart at­tack. Plus, in cases of re­cur­rence, the sec­ond heart at­tack was less se­vere in peo­ple who had been tak­ing th­ese med­i­ca­tions.

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