NEW ORLEANS — Here in Southeast Louisiana there's a higher rate of congestive heart failure than many other parts of the country, and because of this a local doctor is testing a new medication to fight this condition in a free clinical trial.

Cardiovascular problems affect many people across the state, like 54-year-old Jeff Pellegrin. He says several conditions are taking a toll on his heart.
 
"My father's brother suffered from the same thing. He died probably at 55 of a massive heart attack, and so it kind of runs in the family," said Pellegrin.

Pellegrin has signs of heart problems like swelling in his lower legs, and getting out of breath.

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"I took the stairs this morning to come up and I'm trying to do that more, but I get really winded," he said. 

Besides the family history, his doctor said having high blood pressure and being overweight and pre-diabetic are adding to the health problem.

"Up to now, I've been trying to diet and exercise and kind of get those things down and he's thinking it's probably time to start doing some medication," Pellegrin said.

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This week, his internal medicine physician Dr. Robert Jeanfreau of MedPharmics, LLC, is heading a study to test a new medication for a type of heart failure called diastolic dysfunction.
 
"We have marked obesity, diabetes. We have hypertension. All those things can contribute to congestive heart failure, so these things are very common around here," said Jeanfreau.

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Jeff may not quality for this study but Jeanfreau is hoping people 50 and older with this type of congestive heart failure will be a part of testing the new medication. Every one who qualifies will get free treatment and will be compensated for his or her time. 

MedPharmics is looking for 10 patients to join this free study. To see if you qualify, call 504-457-2721. 

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