Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Despite advances in medications, surgical techniques, and treatments, over 610,000 people died from heart disease in 2015.
According to the Center for Disease Control, high blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol, obesity and smoking are key risk factors for heart disease and about half of Americans (49%) have at least one of these risk factors.
Almost 36% of men and women are considered obese (having a body mass index over 30). Obesity can cause an increase in LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) and blood pressure—increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Public service campaigns have done a great job spreading the word about the of dangers of smoking cigarettes. Smoking damages blood vessels, which increases blood pressure. While the number of people smoking cigarettes continues to decline, about 17% of Americans still smoke cigarettes, and more than 16 million live with smoking related diseases.
High cholesterol levels in the blood causes many types of heart disease, including: atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease. In the U.S., approximately one-third of deaths in middle-aged and older adults can be attributed to these conditions.
For people with hereditary links to cardiovascular disease and diabetes, diet and exercise are not enough to stave off heart problems. They have a higher risk for developing hypertension and high cholesterol, which is only treatable through medication.
Focusing on Heart Health: Weight Loss
According to the National Institute of Health, 1 of every 3 adult Americans are obese. The occurrence of extremely obese people is 1 in every 20. The first line of defense against heart disease and diabetes is diet and exercise. Research has shown that people who regularly exercise tend to develop less heart disease. However, for many people, obesity is not entirely from lifestyle choices. Metabolic changes in their body make it difficult to lose weight and keep it off.
Meridien Research was part of the Qsymia clinical research trial, for people that needed to lose weight. Osymia is now an FDA approved drug on the market. It’s proven to help people lose weight which is beneficial for cardiovascular health. Maintaining a healthy weight is important for overall health and can prevent heart disease.
Focusing on Heart Health: High Cholesterol
Reducing the levels of bad cholesterol (LDLs) reduces the occurrence of heart attacks. Statins have been clinically proven to lower LDLs and reduce heart attacks, but 15 – 20% of older patients with cardiovascular disease cannot tolerate the side effects from statins.
Researchers are now looking for medication for people who can’t take statins or for whom statins don’t work. Meridien Research’s latest studies are injectable medications, like Praluent, which acts like a PCSK9 inhibitor. These inhibitors target the PCSK9 protein involved in LDL activity. The injections are also an alternative delivery method versus the pill form.
Focusing on Heart Health: Smoking Cessation
Cigarette smoking causes hardening of the arteries, which increases blood pressure and puts more stress on the heart. High blood pressure, also called hypertension, increases the risk of serious heart attack and stroke.
Meridien Research participated in a novel study to help people stop smoking. Smoking causes a great deal of damage to the organs and smoking cessation is beneficial for overall health, and especially cardiovascular health.
From smoking cessation to cholesterol lowering, and weight loss medications, Meridien Research is committed to serving the community while advancing cardiovascular-related research.
If you would like more information about these, and other studies at Meridien Research, please call 888-777-8839. You may also be interested in viewing a Case Study which features Meridien’s success with a study for Type 2 Diabetes with Cardiovascular Outcomes: https://goo.gl/DsH71l.