August 10, 2017 – Inflammation
Anchor lead: Is inflammation the culprit when it comes to heart attacks? Elizabeth Tracey reports
Reducing inflammation after someone has a heart attack may reduce their risk for having a second, with a new drug for a particular target possibly helpful in doing so, an industry-sponsored study concludes. Michael Blaha, a preventive cardiologist at Johns Hopkins, says science supports the strategy.
Blaha: The science is really pushing the idea now that atherosclerosis is an inflammatory condition, and those of us that have atherosclerosis are chronically inflamed. But if you can disrupt the inflammatory cascade you might be able to disrupt the propagation of atherosclerosis. That’s what these drugs are trying to do. So we give statins after a heart attack which both lower cholesterol and inflammation. But some patients still have very high levels of inflammation despite the statin after the heart attack. And these are the patients that this clinical trial targeted. :31
Blaha says as with all health conditions, prevention is really the best strategy, with ways to reduce risk well-known. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.