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New data from studies bolsters case for using aldosterone antagonists in heart failure
Date:9/19/2011

Bethesda, Md. (Sept. 19, 2011) Roughly 5 million people in the United States live with heart failure, a condition in which the heart is unable to pump blood around the body effectively. The causes and types of heart failure vary greatly, and treatment must be tailored to each patient. In some cases, doctors will prescribe a class of diuretic drugs called aldosterone antagonists. However, these diuretics may cause dangerously high levels of potassium in the blood (hyperkalemia) of certain patients, putting them at risk for sudden cardiac death. Therefore, it is crucial that doctors weigh the risks and benefits of prescribing aldosterone antagonists for their patients who have heart failure.

To help prescribers make the best decisions concerning these drugs, Bertram Pitt, MD, Professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan School of Medicine, will review the data from three prominent studies during his presentation at the 7th International Symposium on Aldosterone and the ENaC/Degenerin Family of Ion Channels, being held September 18-22 in Pacific Grove, Calif. The presentation is entitled, "Potential Future Role of Mineralocorticoid Receptor Blockade in Patients with Heart Failure." The meeting is sponsored by the American Physiological Society.

Dr. Pitt will also outline a study in progress that will shed light on potential future uses of aldosterone antagonists, as well as discuss a compound currently in Phase II clinical trials that is designed to prevent or treat hyperkalemia.

EPHESUS and EMPHASIS-HF Results

Two studies for which Dr. Pitt was an investigator have shown that aldosterone antagonists reduce mortality in people with different symptoms. In 2003, the Eplerenone Post-Acute Myocardial Infarction Heart Failure Efficacy and Survival (EPHESUS) study demonstrated that treatment with eplerenone lowered the risk of cardiovascular mortality and cardiovascular complications 13% in people with systoli
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Contact: Donna Krupa
dkrupa@the-aps.org
301-634-7209
American Physiological Society
Source:Eurekalert

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