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Blood Pressure Drug Helps Those With Mild Heart Failure
Date:5/23/2011

SUNDAY, May 22 (HealthDay News) -- New Swedish research suggests that the drug Inspra reduces the threat of major cardiovascular complications among patients who have a mild form of heart failure.

This latest finding builds on earlier work that was published by the New England Journal of Medicine last fall. That study suggested that Inspra (eplerenone), an aldosterone antagonist, helps control cardiovascular complications among patients with a history of serious chronic heart failure.

Since far more people suffer from mild heart failure, this new finding could mean the drug might benefit a far broader group of patients, the researchers added.

The Swedish analysis makes an even stronger case for the use of Inspra in patients with mild heart failure because, in addition to reducing mortality, it also reduces the incidence of the irregular heart beat condition known as atrial fibrillation, study co-author Karl Swedberg, from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, said in a news release from the European Society of Cardiology.

Atrial fibrillation "is a condition which both increases morbidity and complicates the care of patients with heart failure," he explained.

Swedberg and his colleagues were slated to present the findings Sunday in Gothenburg at the Heart Failure Congress 2011, organized by the Heart Failure Association of the European Society of Cardiology.

The study team noted that Inspra is currently approved for the control of high blood pressure as well as for the treatment of heart attack patients who experience congestive heart failure. It is not yet approved for the treatment of patients who experience mild heart failure. It is available generically in the United States, according to the news release.

Experts estimate that almost 6 million people in the United States suffer from heart failure.

The current finding stems from a re-analysis of a larger study that involved more
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