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 Millions through license revenues
27.04.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht New High-Performance Center Translational Medical Engineering
26.04.2017 | Fraunhofer ITEM

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: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>