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Short-Term Medications May Cut Risk for ‘Broken Heart’ Syndrome

Combination of low-dose β-blocker and aspirin may reduce heightened CV risk in early bereavement

WEDNESDAY, March 4, 2020 (HealthDay News) — In early bereavement, low-dose metoprolol and aspirin reduce physiological and psychological surrogate measures of cardiovascular risk, according to a study published in the February issue of the American Heart Journal.

Geoffrey H. Tofler, M.D., from the University of Sydney, and colleagues sought to determine whether a daily β-blocker (metoprolol 25 mg) and aspirin (100 mg) could reduce cardiovascular risk markers and anxiety among 85 recently bereaved participants (73 spouses and 12 parents) without adversely affecting bereavement intensity.

The researchers found that participants on metoprolol and aspirin had lower levels of home systolic pressure, 24-hour average heart rate, anxiety, platelet response to arachidonic acid, and depression symptoms compared with those taking placebo. There were no differences noted in von Willebrand Factor antigen, platelet-granulocyte aggregates, or bereavement intensity. No significant adverse safety impacts were seen.

“Results suggest a potential preventive benefit of this approach during heightened cardiovascular risk associated with early bereavement,” the authors write.

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