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Drug to reduce heart attack risk

A new heart rate reducing drug will benefit angina patients who risk suffering a cardiac attack, a study has revealed.

The study led by Professor Kim Fox, consultant cardiologist at the Royal Brompton Hospital, London, found ivabradine reduced the risk of heart attacks by nearly three quarter in patients who have a heart rate of 70 beats per minute or more.

Professor Fox said: "Heart and circulatory disease is the biggest killer in the UK. To stop this, we need to identify new ways to reduce these deaths."

The report revealed that more than four in 10 patients are less likely to suffer for a heart attack if treated with a drug that lowered their heart rate.

The drug is licensed in the UK for angina patients who cannot be given beta blockers, medicines used to treat a range of heart conditions.

Results of the study were presented at the European Society of Cardiology's annual meeting in Barcelona, Spain.

"The data suggest that a reduction in heart rate could prevent heart-related disease and deaths in people with stable angina. It consolidates the rationale that measuring heart rate should be routine clinical management in angina patients," said Professor Fox.

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European Society of Cardiology