Navigation Links
Drug Combo May Prevent Heart Attacks, Strokes

'Inexpensive, well-proven medications' could have huge impact, expert says

FRIDAY, Oct. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Giving daily doses of a statin and a blood pressure-lowering ACE inhibitor to people at high risk for a heart attack or stroke reduced their incidence by more than 60 percent in two years, researchers report.

People in the study all had diabetes or a history of cardiovascular disease, but the drug regimen probably could provide similar benefits to anyone vulnerable to cardiovascular trouble because of obesity, high blood pressure or simply old age, said Dr. R. James Dudl, diabetes clinic lead at the Kaiser Permanente Care Management Institute in Oakland, Calif., and lead author of a report in the October issue of the American Journal of Managed Care.

The study was based on a model that assumed that high blood cholesterol and high blood pressure were each responsible for about 25 percent of cardiovascular risk, Dudl said.

"We hypothesized that while there were different mechanisms, the effects are additive," Dudl said. "Our model showed a potential 71 percent drop in cardiovascular risk."

The study was done on a large scale and included 170,024 members of the Kaiser Permanente health plan in California, all aged 55 or older. They were divided into three groups: 21,292 who took the bundled drugs more than half the time in 2004 and 2005, 47,262 who took the drug bundle less than half the time and 101,464 who took neither or just one drug during the study.

Their use of the medications was determined by monitoring their prescription refill records. Participants were also advised to take low-dose aspirin daily, but their use of that medication could not be determined because it is not a prescription drug, Dudl said.

After taking the drugs for two years, the rate of heart attacks and strokes in the next year was reduced by 26 per 1,000 people among those in the high-use group and 15 per 1,000 people in the middle-use group, compared with those in the no-use group, the study found.

"This was accomplished by using three inexpensive, well-proven medications that don't have significant side effects," Dudl said.

The ACE inhibitor used in the study was lisinopril (Prinivil, Zestril), given at 20 milligrams a day, and the statin was lovastatin (Altoprev, Mevacor), given at 40 milligrams daily, but any combination of drugs in the two families could be used, Dudl said. "We feel that these are class actions, not specific to any one drug," he said.

The program has since been extended to include more than 256,000 Kaiser Permanente members across the country and is being offered in community health centers, a company spokesman said.

"However the atherosclerotic process is advanced, we feel that these treatments would work," Dudl said. Atherosclerosis is the hardening of arteries that can lead to a heart attack, stroke or other cardiovascular problem. "We went for people with the highest risk, but the program could benefit anybody with the atherosclerotic process caused by any mechanism, particularly hypertension [high blood pressure]."

Dr. Michael A. Blazing, an associate professor of medicine and cardiology at Duke University, said that the study confirms in one large sweep what has been seen in smaller studies of individual preventive drug treatments.

"The key is bundling the drugs and the distribution system," Blazing said. "Much of the effect is due to getting the drugs to the population that needs them. What they are doing is validating the bits and pieces that have been shown in different studies in different ways. They are also validating the work that shows that individuals who stay on these drugs do better."

The study also has meaning for the current drive to establish a national health insurance program, he said.

"It means that if you do better delivery to large populations, they do better," Blazing said. "It's a kind of model we need to be looking at for the overall health-care debate that is going on."

More information

The American Heart Association has more on risk factors for coronary heart disease.

SOURCES: R. James Dudl, M.D., diabetes clinic lead, Kaiser Permanente Care Management Institute, Oakland, Calif.; Michael A. Blazing, M.D., associate professor, medicine/cardiology, Duke University, Durham, N.C.; October 2009 American Journal of Managed Care

Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Drug Combo May Offer Best Relief for Nerve Pain
2. Combo Therapies to Lower Cholesterol Dont Work
3. Combo Treatment May Ease Depression After Stroke
4. Post-transplant combo can replace toxic immune-suppressing drugs in monkeys
5. Heart Drug Combos Raise Risk of Gastrointestinal Bleeding
6. Drug Combo Proves Powerful Against Lung Cancer
7. Drug Combo Keeps Kidney Artery-Vein Grafts Viable
8. Combo Treatment Eases Wheezing in Babies
9. 3-Drug Combo Reduces Nausea After Chemo
10. Drug Combo May Relieve MS Symptoms
11. New Treatment Combo Better Against Hepatitis C
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... Inevitably when people think ... customers choose to buy during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday massage chair ... to search the Internet high and low to find the best massage chair deals, ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... 26, 2015 , ... PRMA Plastic Surgery is updating their record books yet ... 6,000th free flap breast reconstruction surgery! , “What an accomplishment for the PRMA team, ... lives and it’s an honor to have served all of these women.” , PRMA ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... more aggressive than those found on mammography, according to a study published online ... additional cancers not seen on mammography may necessitate a change in treatment. , ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... TyloHelo Inc , ... accessories. , Sauna accessories help improve the bather experience in the sauna, and ... styles for the purist looking for simplicity in design to accessories that encourage ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... According to an ... is being more and more widely heralded as a breakthrough for performing hernia repairs. ... has over traditional laparoscopic surgery is that it can greatly reduce the pain that ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... , November 26, 2015 ... of the "2016 Future Horizons and ... Abuse Testing Market: Supplier Shares, Country Segment ... to their offering. --> ... "2016 Future Horizons and Growth Strategies ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... PUNE, India , November 26, ... --> --> ... Research Report" and "Investigation Report on ... 2019 and 2021 forecasts data and ... library. . ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... November 26, 2015 ... addition of the  "2016 Future Horizons ... Cell Surface Marker Testing Market: Supplier ... to their offering.  --> ... of the  "2016 Future Horizons and ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: