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New Treatment for Blacks With Heart Failure to Be Tested

Study will look at how well combo drugs dilate blood vessels

FRIDAY, Feb. 27, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- The Medical College of Georgia is taking part in a national study examining whether a special combination of drugs can help blacks with heart failure live longer and healthier lives.

The African American Heart Failure Trial is the first prospective study of heart failure treatment aimed specifically at blacks. Patients will receive isosorbide dinitrate, a drug that helps keep blood vessels open by increasing levels of the vasodilator nitric oxide, along with hydralazine, an antioxidant and vasodilator that helps protect nitric oxide.

Previous research has indicated this combination may be particularly beneficial for blacks with heart failure.

Study volunteers will be closely monitored for 18 months and undergo extensive medical evaluation. Eligible subjects include male and female blacks, age 18 and older, in stage three or four heart failure who have not been hospitalized in the past three months. The study is sponsored by the drug industry.

For more information about the study, phone study coordinator Helen Fain at 760-721-9684.

Nearly 5 million Americans are affected by congestive heart failure, a condition in which the heart is no longer able to pump enough oxygen-rich blood throughout the body. Hypertension and heart attack are major causes of heart failure. Blacks are twice as likely as whites to experience heart failure and also have higher death rates from heart failure.

More information

The American Heart Association has more about heart failure.

SOURCE: Medical College of Georgia, news release, February 2004
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