Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Calcium-blocker drug slows artery clogging better than beta blocker

25.10.2002


High blood pressure treatment with a calcium channel antagonist slowed progression of atherosclerosis, the disease process responsible for heart attacks and strokes, better than a beta blocker, according to a rapid track report posted online this week in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.



Rapid track articles are released online early because Circulation editors believe the work has major clinical impact or represents important basic science discoveries.

The study tested two high blood pressure medications: lacidipine, a calcium channel blocker, and atenolol, a beta blocker. Beta blockers reduce the heart’s tendency to beat faster as it tries to compensate for weakened pumping ability. Allowing the heart to maintain a slower rate lowers blood pressure. Calcium channel blockers interfere with calcium’s role in the contraction of these muscles. This causes the muscles to relax, lowering blood pressure and improving blood circulation in the heart.


Ultrasound images taken at the start of the study revealed that patients had measurable atherosclerosis in the carotid arteries. After four years of treatment, the yearly progression rate for this narrowing was 40 percent lower in lacidipine-treated patients than in the patients treated with atenolol.

Researchers tracked plaque progression by measuring intima-media thickness (IMT) in participants’ carotid arteries, which carry blood to the brain. IMT is a measurement of the interior lining of blood vessels. During the four-year study, researchers found that people taking atenolol showed an increase in IMT by 0.0145 millimeters per year (mm/yr), while IMT in people taking lacidipine increased by 0.0087 mm/yr.

Alberto Zanchetti, M.D., lead researcher of the European Lacidipine Study on Atherosclerosis (ELSA), says this difference was apparent even though average ambulatory blood pressure reduction among patients taking lacidipine was less than the average reduction achieved by patients taking atenolol.

Zanchetti, who is a professor of medicine at the University of Milan and scientific director of Istituto Auxologico Italiano in Milan, says the finding suggests "it is some specific property of the calcium antagonist we have used in addition to the lowering of blood pressure, that slows down the progression of atherosclerosis."

Calcium channel blockers, also called calcium antagonists, decrease the rate at which calcium flows into the heart and blood vessel walls. This, says Zanchetti, appears to have the beneficial effect of slowing the growth of cells that line the blood vessels and arteries and reducing the size of plaques, the fat deposits that accumulate in arteries.

The report shows that 19.8 percent of the lacidipine-treated patients had a regression of arterial plaque after four years treatment, while 15.7 percent of patients taking atenolol had a similar regression.

The study recruited 2,334 patients with systolic (the top number in a blood pressure reading) pressures ranging from 150-210 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) and diastolic (the bottom number) pressures ranging from 95 to 115 mm Hg. High blood pressure is defined in an adult as a systolic pressure of 140 mm Hg or higher and/or a diastolic pressure of 90 mm Hg or higher.

The patients’ ages ranged from 45 to 75 and they lived in France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Patients were randomized to either lacidipine or atenolol once a day. After a month of treatment, if diastolic pressure didn’t drop by at least 5 mm Hg to less than 95 mm Hg both drugs were increased and when necessary, a diuretic was added. Patients underwent ultrasound scanning of carotid arteries to measure the thickness of the arterial wall at baseline and every year throughout the study.

When blood pressure was measured in the clinic the drugs achieved virtually the same reductions. When it was monitored using special round-the-clock ambulatory monitoring devices, patients taking atenolol reduced systolic blood pressure an average of 10.3 mm Hg and decreased diastolic pressure by almost 9 mm Hg, while the reduction in the lacidipine group was less: 6.8 mm Hg and 4.9 mm Hg average declines in systolic and diastolic pressures respectively.

Lacidipine is not approved for use in the United States and Zanchetti says it is unknown if other calcium antagonists would be as effective at slowing atherosclerosis. The drug targets dangerous fats that accumulate in the arterial wall and binds with vascular cells.

"So it may be more powerful than other calcium antagonists," he says.


Co-authors are M. Gene Bond, Ph.D.; Michael Hennig, Ph.D., Albrecht Neiss, Ph.D.; Guiseppe Mancia, M.D.; Cesare Dal Palù, M.D.; Lennart Hansson, M.D.; Bruno Magnani, M.D.; Karl-Heinz Rahn, M.D.; John L. Reid, M.D.; Josè Rodcio, M.D.; Michel Safar, M.D.; Lothar Eckes, M.D., Ph.D.; and Paolo Rizzini, M.D.

NR02 – 1193 (Circ Rapid Track/Zanchetti)

CONTACT: For journal copies only,
please call: (214) 706-1396
For other information, call:
Carole Bullock: (214) 706-1279
Maggie Francis: (214) 706-1397

Carole Bullock | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.americanheart.org/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Electrical 'switch' in brain's capillary network monitors activity and controls blood flow
27.03.2017 | Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont

nachricht Laser activated gold pyramids could deliver drugs, DNA into cells without harm
24.03.2017 | Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Northern oceans pumped CO2 into the atmosphere

27.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

Fingerprint' technique spots frog populations at risk from pollution

27.03.2017 | Life Sciences

Big data approach to predict protein structure

27.03.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>