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17 September 2019

Heart attacks are the leading cause of death in the world.

Now scientists at the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute have found vitamin E could be used to save the muscle from dying during an attack.

"Often it is very frustrating that we are fast and we can open the blocked arteries but then patients develop heart failure, heart failure results in a reduced life expectancy," Professor Karlheinz Peter, Deputy Director of the Baker Institute said.

Vitamin E has been trialled unsuccessfully for preventing heart attacks but has not been investigated for treatment during heart attacks.

"As there is currently no drug available that can reduce the cardiac damage caused by an overshooting inflammation after reopening of a blocked coronary artery, the potential impact of our finding on cardiovascular health would be significant," Professor Peter said.

"Our next step is to test an already approved formulation of vitamin E in patients admitted with a heart attack," Professor Peter said.

"We plan to prove that heart function is preserved using sensitive magnetic resonance imaging. Thereby, we hope to establish an inexpensive and effective therapy for patients with heart attack."

originally published by Nine News, 17 September 2019