Welcome to new heart disease drug

HEART disease patients in Suffolk have today welcomed the news that doctors may have found a way of reversing the illness for the first time.Results of a new study conducted by some of the world's leading heart doctors show that a new drug could actually reverse the build-up of fatty deposits in the arteries, rather than just preventing new deposits from building up.

HEART disease patients in Suffolk have today welcomed the news that doctors may have found a way of reversing the illness for the first time.

Results of a new study conducted by some of the world's leading heart doctors show that a new drug could actually reverse the build-up of fatty deposits in the arteries, rather than just preventing new deposits from building up.

The news will give fresh hope to millions of patients, and members of support group Heartbeat East Suffolk are no exception.

Tony Ramsay, a member of the group, had a heart attack in 2003, and has been on a type of medication known as statins ever since.


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He said: “Anything which can turn back the clock is going to be very welcome.

“It's obviously very early days but it's very encouraging. Anything that can open the arteries wider is going to help save lives.”

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The health of more than two million people in the UK is thought to be affected by arteries narrowed by the build-up of fatty deposits.

The process, known as atherosclerosis, can lead to potentially-fatal conditions including heart attacks and strokes.

In the past, medical experts focused their efforts on slowing the progress of what was thought to be an irreversible disease but the results of the new study showed intensive use of Rosuvastatin, a powerful new cholesterol-reducing drug, can also reduce the deposits, known as atheroma.

Dr Sarah Jarvis, a London GP and member of the Royal College of General Practitioners, said the news was “dramatically exciting” and its importance “cannot be underestimated”.

She said: ``For the first time we have a drug that can not only halt the progression of the disease, but in the vast majority of patients, it actually showed the disease regress.'

Professor Peter Weissberg, medical director of the British Heart Foundation (BHF), said the study was “very encouraging”.

But he said it still remains to be demonstrated that atheroma reduction will mean fewer heart attacks.

The success of the high-intensity therapy was found after 349 heart disease patients were studied over two years at 53 care centres in the US, Canada, Europe and Australia.

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