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New study confirms benefits of treating heart attack patients with a cheap drug
Date:3/30/2014

The initial results of this trial were published a few months ago (Circulation. 2013;128:1495-1503), and showed that patients who received this treatment during emergency transit to hospital had much smaller amounts of dead heart muscle than those randomly assigned to receive no treatment. The new study shows that the proportion of patients with a severely deteriorated heart contractile function is much less (60%) in the group that received metoprolol. Early treatment with metoprolol treatment also significantly reduced the rate of hospital readmission for chronic heart failure, and massively reduced the need to implant a cardioverter-defibrillator.

Borja Ibezjoint lead investigator on the study with Valentn Fusterexplains that "the possibility to reduce so dramatically the number of cases of chronic heart failure (with all the associated treatments and hospital readmissions) with such a cheap procedure (the metoprolol treatment costs less than two euros per patient) could generate enormous savings for health services across Europe."

An initial estimate indicates that if half the heart-attack patients in Europe received early treatment with this cheap drug, the savings in treatment for heart failure alone could exceed 10 billion a year. But as Dr. Fuster is careful to emphasize, it is important to remain cautious, and these estimates will need to be confirmed in a much larger study population across Europe. The research team is already preparing a new clinical trial, with more than 3000 patients in several European countries, which will be powered to demonstrate a reduction in mortality with this treatment. According to the authors, "The results presented today and published simultaneously in this issue of JACC are unprecedented and extremely promising, but rigorous clinical investigation requires corroboration in an independent population." The European consortium for this larger scale study, which will be led from Spain by the CNIC,
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Contact: AInhoa Iriberri
airiberri@cnic.es
34-610-295-556
Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares
Source:Eurekalert

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