Angina medication can also be used to treat symptoms. It has anti-inflammatory properties and lowers the risk of stroke or heart attack. This study, which was led by MedUni Vienna, and included access to data from Harvard Medical School has been published. Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences.
Atherosclerosis is the leading cause of death in Europe as well as the United States. It has been proven that atherosclerosis plaques, which are deposits in blood vessels, can be formed and progressed by chronic inflammation of the arteries. Walter Speidl (Department of Medicine II Division of Cardiology), and Philipp Hohensinner(Center for Biomedical Research), led the MedUni Vienna study group that has shown for the first-time that a decrease in intracellular sodium levels inhibits the important inflammatory regulator NF-kappaB. Ranolazine has been used for years to treat angina pectoris. It can also block the uptake of sodium from cells.
Johann Wojta from the Medical University of Vienna’s Cardiology Research Laboratory and coauthor of the study, explains that: “In our publication, we used cell culture, animal models, as well as a large-scale human study, to discover a new mechanism for inhibiting inflammation atherosclerosis. Now we have evidence that an approved drug not only treats angina symptoms but also reduces the chance of stroke and heart attacks.
This anti-inflammatory effect was shown in 6500 patients with myocardial damage using data from Harvard Medical School. Ranolazine has a lower level of C-reactive proteins, which is a cardiovascular risk marker. This was in comparison to placebo. Max Lenz, the study’s lead author, said that “we have now been able show that ranolazine not only works against symptoms. It reduces atherosclerotic plaques and has an anti-inflammatory action in mouse models. These plaques are also more stable, which could reduce the risk of heart attacks. Ranolazine, a safe drug approved for patients suffering from coronary heart disease, reduces chronic vascular inflammation and is therefore a safe option.