Novel drugs may offer new ways to fight heart disease

PHILADELPHIA — Doctors are reporting that novel drugs may offer fresh ways to reduce heart risks beyond the usual medicines to lower cholesterol and blood pressure.

One new study found that heart attack survivors benefited from a medicine long used to treat gout. The drug, colchicine, works by reducing inflammation.

Several experimental medicines also showed early promise for interfering with heart-harmful genes without modifying the genes themselves. In one drug’s case, treatment was only needed twice a year because the effects last so long. Some of these drugs aim at high triglycerides, a type of fat in the blood that’s elevated in about one quarter of Americans.

The research was featured at an American Heart Association conference, which is ending Monday in Philadelphia.

Marilynn Marchione, The Associated Press