Features December 2010 Issue

Stem Cell Research Shows Promise for Heart Failure Patients

Though it remains years away from wide clinical practice, stem cell therapy continues to offer encouraging glimpses at future heart disease care.

The American Heart Association estimates that 5.7 million Americans have heart disease, and about 670,000 new cases are diagnosed annually. For those who suffer from the condition and its complications—which include heart failure and heart attack—stem cell therapy represents a new medical frontier. Scientists are currently working towards using stem cells to regenerate heart muscle and restore blood flow inside the heart, and one of the biggest tests to date of stem cell therapy for heart disease has shown that the treatment cuts the risk of death in chronic heart failure.

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