A daily pill containing four drugs may reduce the number of heart attacks and strokes by one third, according to one study.
The polypil contains blood-thinning aspirin, a cholesterol-lowering statin, and two drugs to lower blood pressure.
The researchers ̵
Coronary heart disease and strokes are the two leading causes of death worldwide, killing more than 15 million people each year.
Smoking, obesity, and little exercise increase the risk of an unhealthy heart.
The study published in the Lancet was located in more than 100 villages in Iran and about 6,800 people participated.
Half of the people received the polyp and advice to improve their lifestyle, while the other half received advice only.
After five years there were:
- 202 main cardiovascular events in 3421 people who received the polypil.
- 301 in 3417 people who did not receive the pill prevent one of them from developing a serious heart problem over a five-year period.
"We have provided evidence in a developing or middle-income country – and many countries are – that this is a worth considering strategy." Professor Tom Marshall of the University of Birmingham told BBC News.
The polypil resulted in a significant reduction in bad cholesterol, but had little effect on blood pressure, the study showed.
The drug was administered to individuals over 500 years of age, whether they had a heart problem before or not.
"Given the affordability of the polyp, there is considerable potential for improving cardiovascular health and preventing the world's leading cause of death," said Drs. Nizal Sarrafzadegan from Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Iran.
The idea of the polyp has been around since 2001, but this is the first major study to prove its effectiveness.
In the United Kingdom and other wealthier countries, doctors have the time to evaluate the needs of individual patients and a wide range of drugs such as statins. to select.
"In the UK, the benefits would be rather marginal and you would probably want a clinical trial to see advantages over what is currently offered, said Prof Marshall.
The drug is not approved in the UK would be difficult.
The British Heart Foundation said one-third of British high-blood-pressure patients have no knowledge of their condition.
"This means that the highest priority in the UK is to identify more people who do not notice that they have high cholesterol or high blood pressure and to help prescribed medicines take them as prescribed, "said the charity.
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