PARIS: A cheap once-a-day pill that combines aspirin with antihypertensive and cholesterol-lowering drugs reduces the number of cardiovascular diseases by a third and the number of heart attacks by more than half, the researchers said on Friday With.
In clinical trials, the so-called "polypil" has proven to be particularly effective in people without a history of cardiovascular disease and reduced the number of serious events by 40 percent, the researchers reported in the popular medical journal The Lancet.
In patients with a history of cardiac problems and strokes, the drug combination was only half as effective as the control group, which received healthy lifestyle advice but no medicine.
Among the participants who took the pill as instructed ̵
The Polypill concept was first proposed more than 20 years ago as a simple and cost-effective approach to the treatment of cardiovascular disease, which often requires multiple medications.
A scientist from Tehran Medical University directed the research to 7,000 people.
Currently, patients are usually prescribed one or more drugs to lower blood pressure along with a statin that keeps lipids such as fatty acids in check. Aspirin, an analgesic, has blood thinning properties.
"The more tablets people have to take, the less they have to keep in the long run," noted Kausik Ray, a professor of public health at Imperial College London, who was not involved in the study.
"For chronic diseases, this is a challenge because you are asking people to take multiple medications daily for 30 or 40 years."
About one third of patients stop taking their medication 90 days after a heartbeat Attack after previous investigations.
Despite the apparent potential, the polyp had to be tested on a large number of people over a long period of time.
Scientists led by Reza Malekzadeh of Tehran Medical University recruited nearly 7,000 men and women aged 50 to 75 who lived in rural Golestan, a province in Iran.
About one in ten previously had heart attacks, strokes, or other cardiovascular episodes. The participants were divided into two roughly equal groups.
One of them only received "lifestyle advice", while the other from 2011 to 2013 also received a daily polyp.
The doctors monitored compliance with drug use and then determined the number of strokes and heart attacks in each cohort over the next five years.
It was crucial that the adherence was significantly higher for the all-in-one pill. "Medicines do not work if they are not taken," said Amitava Banerjee, consultant cardiologist at University College London.
Compared to the lifestyle group, the Polypill cohort had 34 percent fewer adverse events. The results were similar for men and women.
Blood pressure was not very different, but the "bad" (LDL) cholesterol level was lower in the drug-taking group.
Posted in Dawn, August 24, 2019