Statins, aspirin not only prevent cardiac arrest but reduce severity
Other pills used to prevent heart attacks – including beta blockers and ACE inhibitors – were also linked to a reduction in the severity of attacks. It comes after two leading medical journals went to war over the safety of the drug.A major review in The Lancet concluded the pills are safe and their benefits far outweigh any harm.
But rival journal The BMJ then cast doubt on the assertions by claiming ‘adverse’ side effects are far more common than the study implied.In the latest study, researchers in China found the preventative medications could also be of benefit to patients who have heart attacks.
They tested medications, including aspirin, statins, beta-blockers and angiotensin receptor blockers on patients who were in hospital with acute coronary syndromes (ACS).These conditions, which include unstable angina and heart attacks, occur when arteries carrying blood and oxygen to the heart become blocked.
Scientists at the Peking University Health Science Centre in Beijing compared the effects of previous use of the medication in patients who had a history of cardiovascular disease (CVD) with those who had been admitted with ACS for the first time.
Results showed that prior use of the drugs by patients who had previously experienced ACS significantly reduced the seriousness of repeat ACS effects.Dr. Min Li, who was leading the study, said: “Our findings suggest that the benefits of these medications may extend beyond preventing ACS.
“They may also reduce the severity of disease, and in-hospital adverse outcomes, in those who develop an ACS despite taking the drugs.“We provide further evidence of the preventive benefit of these medications, and urge patients to continue taking them long-term when advised to do so by their doctor.
“Patients who still develop ACS while using the drugs should not lose confidence but continue to use them because they do help.”Experts from the European Society of Cardiology will present the findings at a congress in China next month.
Prof. Michel Komajda, director of the ESC programme, added: “We know that many heart attack patients stop taking their preventive medications. “We need to do more to encourage adherence, and to help patients adopt healthy lifestyle behaviours.”The research is already published in the journal Plos One. Share or comment on this article
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