A drug already being studied for its heart-helping ways has shown anunexpected benefit. Dr. James Mathews was part of a study dubbed HOPE, forHeart Outcome Prevention Evaluation, which tested a prescription drug calledRamipril (RAMMA’-prill). The medicine proved to prevent heart failure, heartattack and stroke. But that’s not all. Many factors can make a heart muscleenlarge, and the thickening of that heart wall leaves it less efficient andmore prone to failure. One important finding is that even with normal bloodpressure, the medication can reverse or prevent that thickening. Ramapril isalready on the market to treat high blood pressure. It’s one of a group ofdrugs called “ACE inhibitors,” which relax blood vessels to reduce theheart’s workload.
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