Heart rate lowering drug improves exercise capacity in patients with stable angina


    MONTREAL, Oct. 29 /CNW Telbec/ - Results from a Late-Breaking Clinical
Trial presented today at the 2008 Canadian Cardiology Congress (CCC) in
Toronto, show for the first time that adding the pure heart rate reduction
medication ivabradine on top of current standard treatment for patients with
stable angina improves exercise capacity over and above the current standard
of care.
    The four month randomised double-blind parallel-group study involved
almost 900 patients from Canada and internationally with documented coronary
artery disease and a history of stable angina. The objective of the study was
to determine if treatment with ivabradine could improve exercise capacity in
these patients beyond that achieved with their standard treatment. Patients
received either ivabradine 5 mg bid for two months (increased to 7.5 mg bid in
87.5% of patients for an additional two months) or placebo for four months in
addition to their current beta blocker background therapy (atenolol 50 mg
    "These data confirm that adding ivabradine over and above the standard of
care we have available right now achieves a substantial increase in exercise
tolerance and is well tolerated," said Dr. Jean-Claude Tardif, the study's
lead investigator, director of the Montreal Heart Institute Research Centre
and professor of medicine at the Université de Montréal. "For patients who
have stable angina the results are very encouraging, particularly because of
tolerability concerns with higher doses of beta blockers. As a result patients
are often not achieving optimal heart rate reduction on standard therapy
    An analysis of the data from treadmill exercise tests shows that patients
who were treated with ivabradine in addition to a beta blocker (n=441)
demonstrated a threefold improvement in total exercise duration at four months
compared to those being treated with standard doses of beta blocker alone.
After four months of treatment, the ivabradine and beta blocker combination
was associated with a mean heart rate reduction of nine beats per minute (bpm)
compared to one bpm in patients remaining on beta blockers alone. Patients
receiving the ivabradine and beta blocker combination also had considerable
improvements in symptoms and ischemia as measured by time to limiting angina,
time to angina onset, and time to 1-mm ST-segment depression.
    Ivabradine is not yet available for clinical use in Canada.

    About Coronary Artery Disease

    Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the most common manifestation of
cardiovascular disease. It refers to the hardening and shrinking of the
coronary arteries (atherosclerosis) which leads to diminished blood flow and
reduces oxygen supply to the heart muscle (ischemia). The lack of oxygen
supply to the heart muscle may cause angina (heart pain). If the coronary
artery becomes completely blocked, a whole section of the heart muscle is
deprived of oxygen and dies, resulting in a myocardial infarction (MI) or
heart attack. Coronary artery disease is a progressive silent disease that
very often is unobserved until the first symptoms of ischemia or MI occur.
Although the prognosis of patients with CAD has been greatly improved by
advances in cardiovascular treatment, it is still the first cause of death.
    Cardiovascular disease accounts for the death of more Canadians than any
other disease. In fact, in Canada someone dies every seven minutes from it.
According to the latest statistics available from Statistics Canada, in 2004
cardiovascular disease accounted for close to one third of all deaths in
Canada (more than 72,000 deaths).

    Heart rate and CAD

    Heart rate is a major determinant of oxygen consumption and can
precipitate most episodes of ischemia, both symptomatic and silent.
Consequently, lowering the heart rate in patients with CAD reduces the heart's
need for oxygen. A number of epidemiological studies have shown that heart
rate is a strong and independent predictor of cardiovascular events in a wide
range of patients, including those with CAD and post-myocardial infarction.
This risk seems to become particularly evident with heart rate above 70 bpm.

    About the Montreal Heart Institute

    Founded in 1954 by Dr. Paul David, the Montreal Heart Institute
constantly aims for the highest standards of excellence in the cardiovascular
field through its leadership in prevention, ultra-specialized care, training
of professionals, clinical and fundamental research, and assessment of new
technologies. It is affiliated with the Université de Montréal and its
clinical outcomes are among the best in the world.
    The MHI Research Centre began its work in 1976, and major achievements
have occurred since its creation. Today, there are some 500 employees,
students and researchers at the MHI Research Centre. Its outstanding feature
is the balance it achieves between basic research, clinical research and
clinical care. Its prime focus areas of research are vascular disease,
myocardial function, and electrophysiology. MHI researchers also contribute to
the advancement of knowledge and medical applications in the fields of
genomics (notably, genetics and pharmacogenomics), biomarkers, and preventive
cardiology. To learn more about the Institute, please visit our website at

    About the Université de Montréal

    Deeply rooted in Montreal and dedicated to its international mission, the
Université de Montréal is one of the top universities in the world,
particularly in the French-speaking world. Founded in 1878, the Université de
Montréal now has 13 faculties and, together with its two affiliated schools,
HEC Montréal and Ecole Polytechnique, constitutes the largest centre for
higher education and research in Québec, the second largest in Canada, and one
of the major centres in North America. It brings together some 2,500
professors and researchers, accommodates over 55,000 students, offers more
than 650 programs at all academic levels, and awards some 3,000 Master's and
PhD diplomas every year.

For further information:

For further information: Tamara Macgregor, Hill and Knowlton, (416)
413-4645, tamara.macgregor@hillandknowlton.ca; Source: Doris Prince, Head,
Communication and Public Relations, Montreal Heart Institute

Organization Profile

Montreal Heart Institute

More on this organization

Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890