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Study: Identical Doses of BiDil Components Are Not Bioequivalent to,the Fixed Dose Combination-BiDil-Used in A-HeFT

nal status. There is little experience in patients with New York Heart Association (NYHA) class IV heart failure. Most patients in the clinical trial supporting effectiveness, referred to as A-HeFT, received, in addition to BiDil or placebo, a loop diuretic, an angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor or an angiotensin II receptor blocker, and a beta blocker, and many also received a cardiac glycoside or an aldosterone antagonist.

In A-HeFT, self-identified black patients taking BiDil in addition to current standard heart failure therapies (n=518) experienced a significant 43 percent decrease in the risk of mortality (P=.012) (absolute mortality rate: BiDil, 6.2 percent vs. placebo, 10.2 percent), a 39 percent reduction in the risk of first hospitalization for heart failure (P less than .001) (absolute first hospitalization rate: BiDil, 16.4 percent vs. placebo, 24.4 percent) and a statistically significant improvement at most time points in response to the Minnesota Living with Heart Failure Questionnaire, which is a self-report of the patient's functional status, versus patients taking placebo (n=532) in addition to current standard therapies.

Heart Failure Burden in Black Patients

Heart failure, or end-stage cardiovascular disease, affects approximately five million Americans, including an estimated 750,000 African Americans. Each year, over 550,000 people are diagnosed with heart failure for the first time, and there is no cure for this disease - with more than 50 percent of patients dying within five years of diagnosis. With respect to heart failure, blacks are affected at a rate greater than that of the corresponding non-black population, presenting with the disease earlier and dying sooner. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), African Americans between the ages of 45 and 64 are 2.5 times more likely to die from heart failure than Caucasians in the same age range.

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