13 Aug Reducing Inflammation to Reduce CV events
Researchers are looking at better ways to prevent and stop inflammation and its damage to arteries and wider role in the development of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular outcomes. But two large clinical trials led by Dr. Paul Ridker, director of the Center for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital point to some possible new treatments. A 2017 study found that the drug canakinumab (Ilaris), cut the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and other cardiovascular events by 17% in people with CVD who were on a regimen of standard treatment. Canakinumab takes aim at interleukin-1. The second of these studies tested the longer-existing drug methotrexate. However, methotrexate did not reduce lower inflammatory markers, CRP levels, or cardiovascular events. Despite that, Dr. Ridker told Harvard Health Publishing that the finding was still helpful overall. “Putting the two studies together, we have a road map for the future, because we now recognize the inflammation target for heart disease prevention is somewhere along the pathway from interleukin-1 to CRP,” he says.