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New Drug Holds Promise for Heart Disease

Regency Nursing and Rehabilitation Center


Friday, 22 March 2019 18:57
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New Drug Holds Promise for Heart Disease

Heart disease is the leading cause of death both in the United States, and globally. For men in particular, half of all death are caused by heart disease.
Over the last few decades, many powerful new drugs have been invented to stave off or lower the risk of cardiovascular disease: statins to control cholesterol and triglycerides, new blood thinners and blood pressure medications to reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes, beta blockers, and many more. Although many of these medications have been proven to lower an individual's risk of a cardiovascular event, the overall risk for such events still remains high.
Recently, a large study, published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine, revealed that a new drug may prove to be an important step forward in the search for drugs to control and prevent heart disease. The new drug, Vascepa, is derived from fish oil. Since fish oil, and omega-3 fatty acids in general, were already known to be good for the heart, it is not surprising that this highly purified and concentrated omega-3 fatty acid has been shown to be beneficial for the heart. What was surprising, however, was the extent of benefit provided; it surpassed all expectations.
An initial study of Vascepa's effectiveness was conducted with approximately 10,000 high-risk patients already taking heart medications. The results of the study showed that this drug reduced the occurrence of first, second, and subsequent heart attacks, as well as strokes and other cardiovascular problems, by nearly one third.
The study's lead investigator, Dr. Deepak Bhatt, stated, "With this drug, we are not only preventing that first heart attack, but potentially the second stroke and maybe that third fatal event. [...] Prevention of such subsequent cardiovascular events could improve patient outcomes and quality of life and may lower the total cost burden of medical care."
Results of this study were presented at the American College of Cardiology scientific meeting in New Orleans. A detailed breakdown of the data presented showed that Vascepa cut the rate of a first cardiovascular event by 25%, a second cardiovascular event by 32%, and further cardiovascular events by 48%, in comparison to the control group.
It is important to remember, that besides the cholesterol-lowering statin drugs that almost all of the participants in this study were taking, most participants were also taking other heart medications to control their blood pressure or to prevent blood clots. The implications of this are that Vascepa provides a important new addition to the arsenal of weapons that can be used to fight heart disease.
The pace of medical innovation today is astounding. It is not unreasonable to expect that this pace will only continue to accelerate, and that fundamental breakthroughs will be made to fight cardiovascular disease.

At the Regency Nursing and Rehabilitation Centers, we offer the very best of care in the most appropriate and patient-centered environment. This means always listening to our residents and patients and respecting their capabilities, while helping them to achieve maximum functionality and independence. And always maintaining the highest professional and quality standards in our staff and our facilities. Our 25 years of excellent care have led to us being awarded a Best Nursing Homes award by US News & World Today, a 5-Star rating by USA Today, and an A+ rating by the Better Business Bureau, among many other awards.
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