The new drug, Ivabradine, that slows down heart rate has reduced the risk of heart attacks in angina patients by 42%, doctors say.
According to a new study, Ivabradine has led to a 73% risk reduction in patients with a heart rate of 70 beats-per-minute or more.
Angina, a feeling of tightness or pain in the chest caused by not enough blood reaching the heart, may presage a heart attack.
As many as two million people in the UK suffer from angina. Ivabradine is licensed in the UK for angina patients who cannot be given beta blockers, medicines used to treat a range of heart conditions.
The findings of the study, that involved around 11,000 patients, were presented at the European Society of Cardiology’s annual meeting in Barcelona, Spain.
The trial’s lead investigator Professor Kim Fox, consultant cardiologist at the Royal Brompton Hospital, London, 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 latest findings reinforce that ivabradine may reduce the number of heart attacks in people with angina, especially in those with a faster heart rate.’