Oral nicorandil, an antianginal drug, may decrease the risk of cardiac death and improve survival of hemodialysis (HD) patients after coronary revascularization, according to researchers.

Masato Nishimura, MD, PhD, of Toujinkai Hospital in Kyoto, Japan, and colleagues studied 129 HD patients (mean age 66 years) who underwent percutaneous coronary artery intervention and had complete coronary revascularization. Some patients were treated with oral nicorandil 15 mg/day and some were not (controls). The group included 91 men and 38 women.

During 1.5 years of follow-up, 26 died from cardiac events (six from acute MI, five from congestive heart failure, and 15 from sudden cardiac death). In addition, 12 subjects died from noncardiac causes.

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At three years, the nicorandil group had a cardiac death-free survival rate of 86.6%, which was significantly greater than the 70.7% rate in the control group, according to a report in the American Journal of Kidney Diseases (2009; published online ahead of print).

All-cause death-free survival rates were greater in the nicorandil than the control group at three years (79.2% vs. 60.5%). No serious adverse effects of nicorandil were reported.