Features May 2008 Issue

Combined Drug Treatments Could Save More Lives

Study shows the key to fighting heart disease could be combination drugs.

More and more cardiac patients are being treated with combination therapies, a study published in the January issue of Heart shows. Researchers theorize that this growing trend could result in more lives being saved through better control of blood pressure and cholesterol. The study included 30,000 men and 21,000 women with ischemic heart disease (IHD, in which blood flow to the heart is diminished due to clogged coronary arteries). Researchers found that 55 percent of the men and 46 percent of the women were taking a statin drug such as simvastatin (Zocor), plus an antiplatelet drug like aspirin and/or clopidogrel (Plavix), and either a beta blocker such as carvedilol (Coreg) or an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor like quinapril (Accupril).

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