New class of drugs to prevent heart attacks

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There is a new class of drugs for preventing heart attacks and slowing the progression of cancer. This class is being nicknamed by researchers as the biggest breakthrough in the field, from statins.

The new class of anti-inflammatory drugs may help prevent heart attacks as well as slow the progression of cancer. This is a finding that is being dubbed by researchers as the biggest breakthrough in the field, from statins (the main medicines used to prevent heart attacks and control various levels of cholesterol). This research was led by Brigham and Woman Hospital in Boston with 10,000 patients and 1,000 doctors from 39 countries involved.

It has a different name – canakinumab – and is given by injection every three months. The researchers said, according to The Guardian, that the drug marks a “new therapeutic era,” by operating completely differently from conventional treatment. Taking the anti-inflammatory has been shown to reduce heart attacks by 15% in patients who had already been victims, also halving the number of cancer deaths.

The study tracked about 10,000 heart attack victims who received high doses of statins, canakinumab or placebo for four years. Paul Ridker of Harvard Medical School said the finding had “far-reaching implications” and exposed the various stages of cardiology advancement while practicing.

“I came to see three major epochs of preventive cardiology during my lifetime. In the first, we recognize the importance of diet, exercise and cessation of smoking. In the second, we identified the importance of drugs in the decrease of lipids, such as statins. Now we’re opening the door to the third era”, commented Paul Ridker.

The results were now presented at the congress of the European Society of Cardiology in Barcelona and “represent the culmination of more than two decades of research”. Canakinumab is an antibody that attacks a protein of the immune system called interleukin-1, which at high levels results in increased inflammation throughout the body.

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