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Brigham and Women's Hospital researchers initiate major cardiovascular inflammation reduction trial
Date:8/22/2012

Boston, MA Fifteen years ago, researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) reported that C-reactive protein (CRP), a biomarker of inflammation found in the blood, was as powerful a tool to predict future heart attack and stroke as was total cholesterol. Today, the same research group announces the launch of a new randomized clinical trial, funded by The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to determine whether lowering inflammation with a common anti-inflammatory drug will in turn reduce rates of recurrent heart attack, stroke, and cardiovascular death in high risk patients who have already suffered a prior heart attack.

"We are exceptionally grateful to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute for funding the Cardiovascular Inflammation Reduction Trial" said Paul M Ridker, MD, principal investigator for the new trial and Director of the Center for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention at BWH in Boston. "We believe that the concept of reducing inflammation has enormous potential as a new method to reduce the burden of heart attack and stroke for our patients."

The Cardiovascular Inflammation Reduction Trial (CIRT) will test whether low-dose methotrexate [Trexall (methotrexate tablets USP)], an inexpensive drug widely used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, can reduce the rates of recurrent cardiovascular events among patients with a prior heart attack who also have diabetes or metabolic syndrome, conditions known to be associated with a heightened inflammatory response. Such individuals are at very high risk for second and third cardiac events which are often life-threatening, despite all currently available interventions including aggressive cholesterol reduction with statin therapy.

Researchers will enroll 7,000 patients from up to 400 clinical sites across the United States and Canada. All patients will receive aggressive standard of care and in addition, half w
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Contact: Lori J. Schroth
ljschroth@partners.org
617-534-1604
Brigham and Women's Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

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