Statins, Beta-Blockers Lessen Heart Attack Risk

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Heart Attack Risk

For patients with undiagnosed heart disease, taking medications known as statins and beta-blockers may mean the difference between suffering a heart attack as a first symptom versus experiencing mild chest pain.

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New research from the Stanford University School of Medicine suggests that these preventive drugs can steer patients away from having a heart attack toward the less serious symptom of mild chest pain that occurs only with exercise (angina) even if they don't stop the build-up of cholesterol in a patient's arteries. The study, to be published in the Feb. 21 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine, was conducted with investigators at Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Oakland and the University of California-San Francisco.

"That's the scary thing about heart disease," said senior author Mark Hlatky, MD, professor of health research and policy and of cardiovascular medicine at Stanford. "You can be fine one minute and dead the next. You can put up with a little chest pain every once in a while if you know you are

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