U of M study: Early treatment can reverse heart damage

August 27, 2007

MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL (August 27, 2007) - University of Minnesota researchers have discovered that treating people who have early cardiovascular abnormalities, but show no symptoms of cardiovascular disease, can slow progression and even reverse damage to the heart and blood vessels.

In a recent double-blind study, researchers enrolled 76 asymptomatic subjects with early markers for cardiovascular disease, based on a 10-factor scale called the Rasmussen Disease Score. During the first six months of the study, 38 subjects received a placebo, and the other 38 subjects took 160mg of Valsartan, a drug that blocks a hormone that is detrimental to the blood vessels and the heart. During the next six months, both groups took Valsartan.

Those who took the drug for the first six months significantly reduced their Rasmussen Disease Score compared with those who took the placebo. At the 12-month mark - after both groups were taking the drug - every patient showed better Rasmussen Disease Scores, effectively demonstrating that Valsartan can slow progression and even reverse early cardiovascular disease in asymptomatic high-risk patients. The findings of the study are published in the Aug. 28, 2007 issue of the Journal of American College of Cardiology.

"Cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 killer in our society - not only in the U.S. but in the rest of the world," said Daniel Duprez, M.D. professor of medicine, and the principal researcher. "These patients have no symptoms, so most of them would have waited to seek treatment. Asymptomatic people are still treated based on risk factors, such as elevated blood pressure and cholesterol, but not on a personalized assessment of the presence of early cardiovascular disease. This is the first study that shows if you interfere early, you can cause regression of these cardiovascular abnormalities."

Most cardiovascular diseases are a result of a progressive problem that can be detected long before symptoms develop. Identifying individuals with early indications of disease can help doctors target the problem with lifestyle counseling and drug treatment to prevent future damage, Duprez said. That's why the concept and validity of the Rasmussen Disease Score is a significant step toward the management of cardiovascular disease.

The Rasmussen Disease Score, developed by Jay N. Cohn, M.D. and director of the University's Rasmussen Center for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention, helps doctors identify early cardiovascular abnormalities that tend to lead to symptomatic cardiovascular disease.

The 10 tests in the Rasmussen Disease Score include: large and small artery elasticity; resting and treadmill exercise blood pressure; carotid artery initial-media thickness; retinal vascular photography; micro-albuminuria; electrocardiography; echocardiography; and plasma B-type natriuretic peptide blood levels.

This battery of tests together with a medical exam and counseling is performed in two hours in one location. The University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview is the only facility in the world that provides this screening process.
-end-


University of Minnesota

Related Cardiovascular Disease Articles from Brightsurf:

Changes by income level in cardiovascular disease in US
Researchers examined changes in how common cardiovascular disease was in the highest-income earners compared with the rest of the population in the United States between 1999 and 2016.

Fighting cardiovascular disease with acne drug
Researchers from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg and Stanford University have found the cause of dilated cardiomyopathy - a leading cause of heart failure - and identified a potential treatment for it: a drug already used to treat acne.

A talk with your GP may prevent cardiovascular disease
Having a general practitioner (GP) who is trained in motivational interviewing may reduce your risk of getting cardiovascular disease.

Dilemma of COVID-19, aging and cardiovascular disease
Whether individuals should continue to take angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers in the context of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is discussed in this article.

Air pollution linked to dementia and cardiovascular disease
People continuously exposed to air pollution are at increased risk of dementia, especially if they also suffer from cardiovascular diseases, according to a study at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden published in the journal JAMA Neurology.

New insights into the effect of aging on cardiovascular disease
Aging adults are more likely to have - and die from - cardiovascular disease than their younger counterparts.

Premature death from cardiovascular disease
National data were used to examine changes from 2000 to 2015 in premature death (ages 25 to 64) from cardiovascular disease in the United States.

Ultrasound: The potential power for cardiovascular disease therapy
In the current issue of Cardiovascular Innovations and Applications volume 4, issue 2, pp.

Despite the ACA, millions of Americans with cardiovascular disease still can't get care
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death for Americans, yet millions with CVD or cardiovascular risk factors (CVRF) still can't access the care they need, even years after the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Excess weight and body fat cause cardiovascular disease
In the first Mendelian randomization study to look at this, researchers have found evidence that excess weight and body fat cause a range of heart and blood vessel diseases (rather than just being associated with it).

Read More: Cardiovascular Disease News and Cardiovascular Disease Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.