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Heart arrhythmia drug may fight plaque buildup in blood vessels

New research in mice provides convincing evidence that digoxin, a drug prescribed to treat atrial fibrillation, can help protect against atherosclerosis.

Investigators found that digoxin decreased the levels of total cholesterol, triglycerides and LDL-cholesterol by 41%, 54%, and 20%, respectively, in mice treated with high-dose digoxin compared with control mice.

The findings are published in the British Journal of Pharmacology.

Research: Digoxin reduces atherosclerosis in apolipoprotein E-deficient mice, Huairui Shi, Xiaobo Mao, Yucheng Zhong, Yuzhou Liu, Xiaoqi Zhao, Kunwu Yu, Ruirui Zhu, Yuzhen Wei, Jianghao Zhu, Haitao Sun, Yi Mao and Qiutang Zeng, British Journal of Pharmacology, doi: 10.1111/bph.13453, published online 16 February 2016.