A new wonder drug is being hailed as the biggest breakthrough since statins in the fight against cardiovascular disease, and it could also halve the chances of people dying from cancer.
The drug is called canakinumab and it’s being called the new dawn in heart treatment.
It’s an anti-inflammatory drug that has undergone four years of tests involving 10,000 high-risk patients and 1000 doctors in 39 countries.
The result of these trails reveal that canakinumab has the potential to reduce fatal repeat heart attacks and strokes by up to 24 per cent, which is nine per cent higher than the impact of statins.
Canakinumab’s purpose is to reduce inflammation, while statins target high cholesterol.
Typically, acute inflammation is one of the body’s natural healing mechanisms, but chronic inflammation does the opposite, destroying tissue and causing cells to malfunction.
Canakinumab is an antibody that blocks the inflammatory molecules in the bloodstream that can damage the lining of the heart arteries and cause heart attacks and strokes.
While the drug cuts the risk of a heart attack by 24 per cent, it may also halve the chances of patients dying from lung cancer, as well as prevent arthritis and gout.
Even though it’s being vaunted as a wonder drug, it’s expensive. It would cost over $65,000 a year to administer, whereas statins cost around $35 per year.
And because canakinumab works by suppressing part of the immune system, there’s an increased risk of dying from severe infection.
So, while we wait for the drug to become a little more affordable, health professionals recommend daily practices to reduce inflammation, such as:
- eating a Mediterranean diet
- combining turmeric and black pepper into your diet
- not smoking
- sleeping seven to eight hours each day
- regularly exercising.
Until then, these are the best ways to limit heart disease and stroke.
Read more at New England Journal of Medicine
How much would you pay to reduce your risk of fatal heart disease or stroke?