Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Aggressive Treatment of Heart Patients with Cholesterol-lowering Medication


Treating heart-attack patients earlier with a more aggressive regimen of cholesterol-lowering medicines may help diminish their chances of sustaining more complications later or dying after their heart attack, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas have found.

The findings, published online today by The Journal of the American Medical Association, show benefits of treating patients who have recently suffered acute coronary syndromes with higher doses of the cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins soon after they experience heart-attack symptoms.

Dr. James de Lemos, assistant professor of internal medicine at UT Southwestern, is lead author of the second of a two-part, collaborative international study called the Aggrastat to Zocor study, or A to Z study. Dr. Michael Blazing of the Duke Clinical Research Institute presented the study Aug. 30 at the European Society of Cardiology meeting in Munich, Germany.

The primary objective of the first phase or the “A” phase was to assess the safety and effectiveness of two different forms of clot-preventing drugs – enoxaparin and unfractionated heparin – in treatment following heart attacks.

The second, or “Z” phase, evaluated two different strategies of treating patients with cholesterol-lowering medicines.

In the past, Dr. de Lemos said, heart-attack patients were stabilized for several weeks or months and placed on low-cholesterol diets before physicians intervened with statin drugs. “Earlier medical protocols called for patients to receive lower dosages of statins later following a heart attack,” said Dr. de Lemos, an investigator in the Donald W. Reynolds Cardiovascular Clinical Research Center at UT Southwestern. “We observed trends that suggested an earlier, more intensive cholesterol-lowering regimen was better than a delayed, less-aggressive regimen.”

The trial – which enrolled patients between December 1999 and January 2003 – followed 4,500 patients at 322 medical facilities spanning 41 different countries. Half of the trial participants received higher dosages of statin drugs soon after a heart attack. The second group was given lower dosages of the same medicines after a longer recovery time following a heart attack.

Patients given statin drugs earlier showed modest improvement in the rate of subsequent death, congestive heart failure, heart attack and stroke compared with patients who received a later start of a lower-dose statin regimen.

According to the study, 14.4 percent of patients in the group that got higher dosages of statins soon after a heart attack suffered other cardiac events such as heart attacks and strokes compared to 16.7 percent of patients receiving later intervention with lower dosages of the cholesterol-lowering drugs.

“Until recently, little information was available about the timing of initiating statin drugs after a heart attack,” Dr. de Lemos said. “The findings from the A to Z trial suggest that statins can be initiated earlier and in dosages well above the typical starting dose.”

Dr. de Lemos also warned that statin drugs must be closely monitored and the dose decreased or discontinued if side effects such as muscle weakness occur. Muscle pain and weakness (myopathy) is an important side effect of statin drugs and was observed in 0.4 percent of patients receiving the highest dose of simvastatin.

Other investigators included Dr. Eugene Braunwald of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, the paper’s senior author; researchers from Duke Clinical Research Institute; the University of Edinburgh in Scotland; Green Lane Hospital in Aukland, New Zealand; the University of Montreal and Aker Hospital in Oslo, Norway.

The study was supported by a grant from Merck & Co.

| newswise
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Advanced analysis of brain structure shape may track progression to Alzheimer's disease
26.10.2016 | Massachusetts General Hospital

nachricht Indian roadside refuse fires produce toxic rainbow
26.10.2016 | Duke University

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: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Greater Range and Longer Lifetime

26.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VDI presents International Bionic Award of the Schauenburg Foundation

26.10.2016 | Awards Funding

3-D-printed magnets

26.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

More VideoLinks >>>