Monthly Dose

Monthly Dose > Volume 26 | February 2023


Celebrating 3 breakthroughs in medicine during American Heart Month

Red heart in child kid and mother hands on old blue wooden table in vintage retro style

American Heart Month is an opportunity for everyone to learn about heart health. This year, we’re sharing three important clinical breakthroughs that have been published over the past year. 

Childhood risk factors have now been linked to adulthood heart events in the same patients

Researchers have been able to connect childhood cardiovascular risk factors to heart trouble in adulthood in the same set of patients. In this study, forty thousand people who enrolled in seven studies in the 1970s and 1980s have been assessed decades later. The goal? Verify whether childhood risk factors long thought to lead to cardiovascular issues in adulthood have real impact on the same set of patients as they age.

The results show a clear association between five childhood risk factors and the occurrence of cardiovascular disease later in life. Those with the highest level of risk in childhood had the highest risk of cardiovascular events, however, even slightly higher risk scores had an impact on heart health in adulthood. The five risk factors are:

  • Body mass index
  • Systolic blood pressure
  • Smoking
  • Total cholesterol levels
  • Total triglyceride levels

These findings verify what researchers have long thought to be true about childhood health, and emphasize the importance of managing heart health from a young age.

Phase 3 clinical trial shows effectiveness of new obesity treatment

Obesity is one of the key leading risks associated with stroke, heart attack, and heart disease. Now, researchers are testing a new drug that may help treat obesity with once-a-week treatment. 

In a recent double-blind randomized, controlled trial, the drug tirzepatide was given to 2,539 adults as a subcutaneous injection once a week. Trial participants, who all had a body-mass index of 27 or higher, were given different doses of the injection (from 5 mg to 15 mg). 

The results of the trial showed that regardless of dosage, 85% of participants had a weight reduction of 5% or more after 72 weeks. These reductions in weight were both substantial and sustained.

Phase 2 clinical trial shows promise for addressing treatment-resistant hypertension

High blood pressure is a leading risk factor for adverse heart events like heart attack and stroke. Treatment-resistant hypertension is a type of high blood pressure that does not respond well to typical treatments that are currently prescribed, like diuretics. 

In a recent phase 2 multicenter, placebo-controlled trial, researchers gave patients with treatment-resistant blood pressure baxdrostat in varying doses for a 12-week period. 

The results showed that patients who received baxdrostat had dose-related reductions in their blood pressure. 

If you or someone you love is managing a heart-related health condition, join one of the Inspire communities below to find support. 

“It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it.”

– Lena Horne