The size of the heart attack (amount of damage or infarct size) is the single most important factor in determining future progression to heart failure. RIC has been shown to reduce infarct size in multiple heart attack trials, but how does that translate into heart failure reduction?
A recent study in Portugal showed that one RIC treatment in heart attack2 patients at the time of the event reduced future heart failure rates by more than fifty percent.
The RIC-STEMI study randomized 448 heart attack patients at Hospital de Braga in Portugal, to usual care alone or with RIC at the time of the heart attack. One RIC treatment significantly reduced the combined rate of cardiac death and heart failure by 62% at 2 years (from 10.1% to 3.9%, p=0.01) compared to usual care alone. Mortality from cardiac causes was reduced by 81% and hospitalization for heart failure was reduced by 56%.
This study adds to the body of evidence for the benefits of RIC in STEMI patients by reducing the rate of heart failure.