Preventative Measures to Reduce Heart Disease
Written by Bryan Heart Cardiologist, John Steuter, MD
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States and has carried the number one spot for many years. Yet, heart disease deaths are steadily decreasing in many states and cancer is gradually becoming the leading cause of death.
Improved Heart Disease Prevention
This decrease in heart disease deaths is largely due to improved measures in prevention. HOPE-3, a study focused on preventing heart disease before it starts, is showing measurable outcomes.
HOPE-3 assessed outcomes of preventative treatment with cholesterol and blood pressure lowering drugs. The study includes in large globally diverse populations at intermediate risk of heart disease.
How it worked:
Participants were assigned to one of four groups:
- Crestor 10mg plus a combination pill of candesartan 16mg and HCTZ 12.5 daily
- Crestor 10mg and placebo daily
- Placebo pill plus candesartan/HCTZ daily
- Two placebo pills
The participants were followed for five years.
The study showed a 30% reduction in heart disease risk for those taking Crestor and a combination pill of candesartan and HCTZ daily (control group 1). The results were shared at the American College of Cardiology in April. This study continues to build on our knowledge of prevention strategies with control of blood pressure and cholesterol and proves prevention decreases heart disease deaths.
Other Heart Disease Study Outcomes
- Statin Arm
The use of statin arm showed significant reduction in heart disease events, but blood pressure lowering drugs alone did not show noteworthy improvement. This study reaffirms the benefit and importance of statin in reducing heart disease deaths.
The SPRINT study found an improvement in outcomes with aggressive blood pressure control with a goal of 120/80. This study focused on patients of elevated risk, as opposed to HOPE-3 which focused on patients of intermediate risk and can likely explain the differences in results between the two studies.
Overall, prevention works to decrease heart disease deaths and continued work in this area will benefit us all.
At Bryan Heart, we continue to stay informed on national leading edge research. If you have questions about heart disease prevention or would like to refer a patient, call 402-483-3333.