Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Statins, Beta-blockers Lessen Heart Attack Risk, Says Stanford-Kaiser Study

Date:
February 24, 2006
Source:
Stanford University Medical Center
Summary:
New research from the Stanford University School of Medicine suggests that these preventive drugs can steer patients away from having a heart attack toward the less serious symptom of mild chest pain that occurs only with exercise (angina) even if they don't stop the build-up of cholesterol in a patient's arteries

For patients with undiagnosed heart disease, taking medications known as statins and beta-blockers may mean the difference between suffering a heart attack as a first symptom versus experiencing mild chest pain.

Related Articles


New research from the Stanford University School of Medicine suggests that these preventive drugs can steer patients away from having a heart attack toward the less serious symptom of mild chest pain that occurs only with exercise (angina) even if they don't stop the build-up of cholesterol in a patient's arteries. The study, to be published in the Feb. 21 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine, was conducted with investigators at Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Oakland and the University of California-San Francisco.

"That's the scary thing about heart disease," said senior author Mark Hlatky, MD, professor of health research and policy and of cardiovascular medicine at Stanford. "You can be fine one minute and dead the next. You can put up with a little chest pain every once in a while if you know you're not about to die from it."

Researchers for the study wanted to know how doctors could help reduce a patient's risk of having a heart attack as a first symptom even if medications for high blood pressure or high cholesterol were unsuccessful in stopping the onset of heart disease. Statins are typically prescribed to reduce cholesterol, one of the warning signs for heart disease. Beta-blockers are given to patients with high blood pressure, another warning sign for heart disease.

"While doctors try to prevent coronary disease by treating high blood pressure and high cholesterol, it's not 100 percent effective," Hlatky said. "If there are warning symptoms like angina with exercise, there is enough time to see a doctor and get started on effective treatments that reduce risk. Having a heart attack causes permanent damage, even if it doesn't kill you."

Researchers evaluated 1,400 patients enrolled within Kaiser Permanente of Northern California between the years 2001-03. Of those patients, only 20 percent who had suffered a heart attack were on a statin, compared with 40 percent of patients who presented with exertional angina.

The patients who suffered a heart attack "out of the blue" were much less likely than those who had only angina to be taking statins and beta-blockers. Patients on statins reduced the risk of heart attack by more than half.

"We looked at all the medications used to prevent heart disease," said Alan Go, MD, of Kaiser Permanente of Northern California's division of research and lead author of the study. "But only statins and beta-blockers lowered the risk of heart attack." The study also looked at use of alpha-blockers, ACE inhibitors or angiotensin II receptor blockers and, among women, of hormone therapy. None of these treatments showed a similar correlation with a lower risk of heart attack.

"The results were really quite striking," said Hlatky. "These drugs were quite effective in reducing risks of having a heart attack as the first symptom of coronary artery disease."

The other Stanford authors of the study are Thomas Quertermous, MD, the William G. Irwin Professor in Cardiovascular Medicine, and Stephen P. Fortmann, MD, the C.F. Rehnborg Professor in Disease Prevention.



Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Stanford University Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Stanford University Medical Center. "Statins, Beta-blockers Lessen Heart Attack Risk, Says Stanford-Kaiser Study." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 February 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/02/060224105212.htm>.
Stanford University Medical Center. (2006, February 24). Statins, Beta-blockers Lessen Heart Attack Risk, Says Stanford-Kaiser Study. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/02/060224105212.htm
Stanford University Medical Center. "Statins, Beta-blockers Lessen Heart Attack Risk, Says Stanford-Kaiser Study." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/02/060224105212.htm (accessed November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) Need another reason to eat yogurt every day? Researchers now say it could reduce a person's risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins