Public Release: 

Cardiovascular drug may improve heart failure and help prevent sudden death

Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

NEW YORK - Nov. 16, 2005 - Research shows that Carvedilol, a cardiovascular drug, could be useful in reducing cardiac death in high risk patients with prior myocardial infarction and/or heart failure and also in reducing the incidence and/or preventing the occurrence of atrial fibrillation in a number of clinical situations. A review of this research is published in the journal Pacing and Clinical Electrophysiology.

Carvedilol possesses electrophysological properties that affect a variety of ionic currents that may result in a significant anti-arrhythmic action. Compared to other drugs in the same class, researchers say Carvedilol may have the right combination of pharmacological properties to reduce cardiac death, and reduce or prevent the incidence of atrial fibrillation, a major disorder of the cardiac rhythm. Future confirmation of this position could change the way physicians manage patients at high risk for sudden cardiac death.

Currently, the only effective management of these patients is to implant a device known as an implantable cardiovertor defibrillator (ICD). The device can automatically detect an abnormal rhythm and deliver an electric shock to restore normal heart rhythm. Unfortunately, the device has several side effects that reduce the patient's quality of life and is extremely costly. Only a fraction of those patients who may be deemed eligible for such a device will receive it.

According to the American Heart Association's Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics 2005 update, over 70,000,000 Americans have one or more types of cardiovascular disease; over seven million have suffered from myocardial infarction.

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This study is published in Pacing and Clinical Electrophysiology. Media who wish to receive a PDF of this article may contact medicalnews@bos.blackwellpublishing.net.

Corresponding author, Nabil El-Sherif, MD is available for questions and interviews. He can be reached on the weekdays at (917) 684-7970 or nelsherif@aol.com. Dr. El-Sherif is an acknowledged national and international expert in the field of disorders of the cardiac rhythm and is currently Director of the Cardiology division at the New York Harbor VA Healthcare System.

About the Journal
Pacing and Clinical Electrophysiology (PACE) is the foremost peer-reviewed journal in the field of pacing and implantable cardioversion defibrillation, publishing over 50% of all English language articles in its field, featuring original, review, and didactic papers, and case reports related to daily practice. Articles also include editorials, book reviews, Musings on humane topics relevant to medical practice, electrophysiology (EP) Rounds, NASPE-Heart Rhythm Society policy statements and information concerning the quality of devices used in the practice of the specialty.

About Blackwell Publishing
Blackwell Publishing is the world's leading society publisher, partnering with more than 600 academic and professional societies. Blackwell publishes over 750 journals annually and, to date has published close to 6,000 text and reference books, across a wide range of academic, medical, and professional subjects.

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