“Heart failure” refers to the heart’s inability to pump enough blood throughout the body and the body attempts to compensate by increasing the heart rate and narrowing blood vessels to elevate blood pressure. Eventually, the heart becomes less efficient, blood pools in vessels around the lungs, and pressure builds to the point where fluid leaks from the blood vessels into the tiny air sacs, and patients experience breathlessness, tiredness, and swelling. While current medications such as beta blockers and ACE inhibitors help relieve symptoms, new research shows that a synthetic version of the hormone relaxin (Serelaxin) addresses the underlying condition by opening up blood vessels and reducing blood pressure, thereby taking excess strain off the heart and boosting kidney function.

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HINT: According to a six-month study, Serelaxin reduced heart failure death rates by a third (37 percent) compared to conventional treatments such as ACE inhibitors.