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        Anti-inflammatory Drug Cuts Heart Attack Risk(2)

        Number of visits: Date:2017-07-18

          A heart attack is a serious medical emergency in which the supply of blood to the heart is suddenly blocked.
          Experts have previously spoken about its possible link with inflammation of certain blood vessels. However, authors say such a link has never been proven before in humans.
          The study's lead author Dr Paul Ridker, of Brigham and Women's Hospital, part of Harvard Medical School, said the study represented "a milestone in a long journey".
          "For the first time, we've been able to definitively show that lowering inflammation independent of cholesterol reduces cardiovascular risk," he said.
          "This has far-reaching implications."
          Dr Ridker continued: "In my lifetime, I've gotten to see three broad eras of preventative cardiology.
          "In the first, we recognised the importance of diet, exercise and smoking cessation. In the second, we saw the tremendous value of lipid-lowering drugs such as statins. Now, we're cracking the door open on the third era. This is very exciting."
          Dr Ridker said the findings also indicated "the possibility of slowing the progression of certain cancers", but further research was required.
          'Safety trade-offs'
          Dr Robert Harrington, chair of the Stanford University School of Medicine, sounded a note of caution in an editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine.
          He said the effects of anti-inflammatories could be "modest", and the absolute clinical benefit of canakinumab "cannot justify" its routine use "until we understand more about the efficacy and safety trade-offs, and unless a price restructuring and formal cost-effectiveness evaluation supports it."
          Others, though, say the treatment could help those at risk of repeat heart attacks for whom statins are not enough.
          Prof Jeremy Pearson, associate medical director at the BHF, said: "The findings suggest that existing anti-inflammatory drugs, such as canakinumab, could be given along with cholesterol-lowering drugs to treat survivors and further reduce their risk of another heart attack."
          Gary Gibbons, director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, said the findings provided "compelling evidence".
          He called for further research into the findings.

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