Harvard Heart Letter

Promising news about heart failure

Serelaxin, a new drug derived from the hormone relaxin, appears to reduce the symptoms of heart failure, organ damage from poor blood flow, and heart failure deaths. In men, relaxin appears to help sperm swim more easily. In women, relaxin loosens tissues in the female reproductive organs and pelvic ligaments to help prepare for childbirth. It also relaxes blood vessels, allowing them to expand. This allows more blood to reach the placenta and kidneys without raising blood pressure. In people with heart failure, the new drug made from relaxin increases blood flow throughout the body. This helps a poorly functioning heart to be more effective. Because relaxin is also an anti-inflammatory, it helps prevent inflammation associated with heart failure from causing damage to the kidneys, liver, and heart.
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