This multi-drug therapy could help people with heart failure live 6 years longer

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In a new study, researchers found that a multi-drug therapy could extend lifespan up to six years and eight years free from heart death or first hospital admission for heart failure.

The research was led by a team from Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Patients with heart failure have substantially shorter life expectancies than people without this condition.

Approximately 6.5 million people in the U.S. and over 64 million people worldwide have heart failure, and about half of them have heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF).

In the last three decades, there have been many advancements in the treatment of HFrEF with several new drugs showing promising results in clinical studies.

However, uptake of new therapies has been slow.

In the study, the team conducted an analysis to estimate the benefits of using a new therapy that combines newer therapies into clinical practice compared to using more conventional therapy.

They used data from three previous clinical studies. Each study evaluated a therapy for heart failure patients: mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists (MRA), angiotensin receptor-neprilysin inhibitors (ARNI), and sodium/glucose cotransporter (SGLT2) inhibitors.

Drawing on the data from these studies, the team estimated the lifetime benefit of taking all three drugs in addition to conventional therapy.

They found that over the course of a lifetime of use, assuming consistent treatment benefits, the comprehensive regimen could add up to eight years of survival free from heart events and hospitalization due to heart failure.

While younger patients with HFrEF would stand to benefit the most, the researchers reported gains in life expectancy for all age groups analyzed.

The team says future work needs to examine the costs of heart failure drugs or the potential side effects—such as kidney toxicity—of taking these drugs in combination.

One author of the study is Scott Solomon, MD from Brigham’s Cardiovascular Division.

The study is published in The Lancet.

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