Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Pneumonia drug cuts heart attack risk

From the Vancouver Sun:
A vaccine that helps protect against pneumonia can also cut the risk of heart attacks, opening the door to a safe and inexpensive way to prevent thousands of cardiac deaths each year, new research shows.

The vaccine, typically used to protect the elderly against the most common cause of bacterial pneumonia, can lower the rate of heart attacks by as much as 50 per cent, says the study.

The study was published in the latest issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

"The magnitude of the effect was really surprising for us," said Dr. Danielle Pilon.

She is the study's lead author and an associate professor of medicine at the Universite de Sherbrooke in Quebec.

"We didn't expect the vaccine to lower the risk of heart attacks by such a high rate."

An accompanying editorial urges physicians to use the vaccine more widely as a preventive measure for patients at high risk of developing heart disease. ...more

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