How did transthyretin amyloid cardiomyopathy progress in patients who took placebo in the study ATTR-ACT? A plain language summary

Jose Nativi-Nicolau, Daniel P. Judge, James E. Hoffman, Balarama Gundapaneni, Denis Keohane, Marla B. Sultan, Martha Grogan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


What is this plain language summary about? This plain language summary describes some results of a study called ATTR-ACT. This was the first large study to include people with wild-type and hereditary transthyretin amyloid cardiomyopathy (ATTR-CM for short). ATTR-CM is a type of heart disease that happens when abnormal clumps of protein build up in the heart. This build-up prevents the heart from working properly, causing a condition called heart failure. Wild-type ATTR-CM happens for unknown reasons in some people as they get older. Hereditary ATTR-CM can happen because of changes in people's genes (known as gene variants or mutations). Important information about ATTR-ACT In this study, 441 people with ATTR-CM took either a medicine called tafamidis or a placebo (a capsule that looked like tafamidis but didn't contain any active medicine) by mouth for 30 months, once a day. The researchers' main aim was to find out how tafamidis treatment affected the risk of people dying or being admitted to the hospital for heart problems. They found that tafamidis lowered these risks by about one-third compared with placebo. What else did researchers find out in ATTR-ACT? As described in this summary, after ATTR-ACT was completed, researchers looked back at the results from people who took placebo to learn how ATTR-CM progressed without treatment. The researchers found that about 4 in 10 people with wild-type ATTR-CM who took placebo died and 6 in 10 were admitted to the hospital because of heart problems over 30 months. People who took placebo also could not walk as far at the end of the study as they did at the start because their heart function worsened over time. Why are these results important? By showing how ATTR-CM affects people's health when they do not take treatment, these results highlight the benefits of early diagnosis and treatment of ATTR-CM. NCT number: NCT01994889 </sec.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)445-453
Number of pages9
JournalFuture Cardiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2022


  • amyloidosis
  • cardiomyopathy
  • heart failure
  • lay summary
  • natural history
  • plain language summary
  • tafamidis
  • transthyretin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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