Could an old medicin be extremely suitable as a treatment for cardiac failure? The UMCG on the Healthy Ageing Campus participates in a new research project. A research consortium, led by professors Dirk Jan van Veldhuisen, Peter van der Meer and Michiel Rienstra of the departement of Cardiology of the UMCG, received a grant of 3 milion by the ZonMw/ Hartstichting (Heart Foundation). With this grant they will do research after the medicin digoxine as a treatment for cardiac failure. The purpose of the so called DECISION study is to prove that patients suffering from cardiac failure who take the medicin digoxine, are less often readmissioned in hospital and die less fast as a result of their illness.
Cardiac failure is a serious and prevalent cardiac disease. It is estimated, that 1 out of 5 people get cardiac failure. Patients with cardiac failure experience a lot of symptoms like shortness of breath, bad shape and fluid accumulation. Patients with heart failure unfortunately have a bad prognosis and are often readmissioned in hospital.
Digoxine is the oldest and cheapest medicin for patients with heart failure, though use of it has declined heavily in recent years. This is connected to the arrival of other medicin and the fact that earlier research showed that patients who were treated with high doses of digoxine, did not recover better than patients without digoxine (placebo). Further analyses shows though that patients who received lower dosages of digoxine, did improve their life expectancy. That is why the research consortium will conduct a large research project in the Netherlands after the effect of low dosages digoxine, that will be added to current treatment of cardiac failure.
In total, 38 hospitals throughout the country will participate in teh DECISION-study. The research is being led by cardiologists of the taskforce Cardiac Centers The Netherlands. The project will start early 2019. The grant has been awarded in the context of the Goed Gebruik Geneesmiddelen - Grote Trials program (Good Use of Medicin).