Drugs normally used to treat blood pressure and heart disease are to be given to patients with lung disease as part of a trial.
The trial, co-ordinated by Aberdeen University, will see patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), treated with beta-blocker drugs which are more commonly used to treat other conditions.
This move is based on evidence that beta-blockers can reduce flare-ups in people with COPD, a long-term lung disease due to smoking which affects 1.2 million people in the UK.
Professor Graham Devereux, from Aberdeen University, said: “One of the problems with COPD is that despite improvements in inhalers, COPD continues to be a major problem.
“The evidence that beta-blockers might help people with COPD is very exciting and a potential game changer in our approach to this disease.”
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Dave Bertin of Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland added: “We are delighted to be involved in this important study.
“Through our Voices Scotland team we have used the views of people living with COPD to help shape the research.”
The trial, funded by the UK National Institute for Health Research, will recruit more than 1,500 patients with COPD from 160 centres across the UK.
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