A new study has shown that patients treated with ivabradine, a drug used to lower resting heart rate, significantly reduces the risk of heart attack in angina patients by as much as 73%.

Data presented by the European Society of Cardiology showed that the risk of myocardial infarction in patients with stable angina was reduced by 42% while the risk of heart attack in patients with a resting heart rate of 70bpm was reduced by 73%.

The study, named Beautiful, set out to evaluate whether mortality and morbidity would be reduced by the addition of the heart rate-lowering agent to conventional therapies in patients with stable coronary artery disease and left ventricular systolic dysfunction.

Trial lead investigator and consultant cardiologist Kim Fox said that the latest findings reinforce that ivabradine may reduce the number of heart attacks in people with angina, especially in those with a faster heart rate.

“This is very important as previous data show that a faster resting heart rate combined with coronary artery disease significantly increases the risk of heart attacks even with standard treatment,” Fox said.

The trial consisted of a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study involving 10,917 people in 33 countries and included 24 trial centres across the UK.

Ivabradine is the only treatment licensed in the UK to selectively lower heart rate.