ESC: Ivabradine Lowers Heart Failure-Related Mortality

The drug lowers heart rate, which itself is associated with heart failure risk
By Monica Smith
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Aug. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Ivabradine significantly reduces the risk of cardiovascular mortality and hospitalization due to worsening heart failure in patients with a high heart rate, which itself appears to be an independent risk factor for heart failure, according to two studies published online Aug. 29 in The Lancet to coincide with the European Society of Cardiology Congress, held from Aug. 28 to Sept. 1 in Stockholm, Sweden.

Karl Swedberg, M.D., of the University of Gothenburg in Göteborg, Sweden, and colleagues randomly assigned 6,558 patients with heart failure, systolic dysfunction, and heart rates of 70 beats per minute (bpm) or more to ivabradine or placebo, in addition to standard heart failure treatments. Over a median follow-up of 22.9 months, cardiovascular death or hospitalization occurred in 24 percent of the treatment group and 29 percent of the placebo group.

Michael Böhm, M.D., of the Klinik für Innere Medizin III in Homburg/Saar, Germany, and colleagues analyzed data from the same trial to test their hypothesis that high heart rate in heart failure patients increases the risk of cardiovascular events. They found that patients with the highest heart rates in the placebo group were more than two times more likely to experience cardiovascular death or hospital admission for worsening heart failure than those with the lowest heart rates. Also, patients with heart rates below 60 bpm at 28 days had fewer events (17.4 percent) than patients with heart rates of at least 75 bpm (32.4 percent).

"Heart rate is an important target for treatment of heart failure," Böhm and colleagues conclude.

Servier funded both studies, and authors of both studies disclosed financial relationships with medical device and/or pharmaceutical companies, including Servier.

Abstract - Swedberg
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Abstract - Böhm
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