In what may be called as a welcome study for angina patients, researchers have found that those suffering from this disease were able to exercise longer and harder before reporting pain in their chest when they were administered the drug allopurinol.
A very common disease, angina makes patients suffer from narrowing of their coronary arteries, the vital blood vessels that supply oxygen to the heart. The condition worsens when patients exercise, as there is a possibility of their arteries getting blocked due to the non-supply of oxygen. This could further lead to chest pain, or even heart attacks in the worst case scenario.
In Scotland alone, 6.6% of adult males and 5.6% of adult females have been affected by the disease.
Conducted by a team of doctors at the University of Dundee and funded by the British Heart Foundation, the research discovered allopurinol appeared to protect the heart against oxygen deficiency. As many as 65 patients with chronic angina from the Tayside area were analysed during the study.
Dr. Allan Struthers, a Professor of cardiovascular medicine at the university, was optimistic that his team's research would help in improving to some extent the quality of life for angina sufferers.
"Allopurinol has been on the market for about 40 years and so it's a cheap drug, one that is obviously very well tolerated with very few side-effects", said Dr. Struthers.