VA hospital research shows obesity drug may help heart health

3 years 3 months 2 weeks ago Thursday, December 22 2016 Dec 22, 2016 Thursday, December 22, 2016 3:08:00 PM CST December 22, 2016 in News
By: Steve Lambson, News Content Manager

COLUMBIA - A drug designed to help people dealing with diabetes and obesity may improve heart function in those patients, researchers at Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans' Hospital found.

The drug spironolactone, a diuretic, is commonly used with patients suffering from diastolic dysfunction, a weakness in the heart's ability to relax between beats. Diastolic dysfunction can cause fluid buildup in the lungs, anc can contribute to heart attacks, strokes, or sudden cardiac death.

A team of researchers led by Dr. Shawn Bender studied spironolactone to try and provide evidence of the drug's usefulness, since there is little hard evidence from clinical trials on the matter.

Bender's team found that when used in low enough doses, spironolactone can treat diastolic dysfunction without raising potassium levels, a potentially harmful side effect.

"The VA-funded lab testing has allowed for a better understanding of how to treat diastolic dysfunction, even if well-established MR antagonism drugs such as spironolactone eventually fall out of use," the VA said in a media release Thursday.

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