PARIS, Aug. 23 – A cheap, once-a-day pill combining aspirin with drugs that lower blood pressure and cholesterol cuts the risk of major heart failure and stroke by a third, researchers said today.
In clinical trials, the so-called "polypill," which is particularly effective among people with no history of cardiovascular disease, reducing the number of severe events by 40 per cent, they reported in The Lancet a medical journal.
The polypill concept was first proposed more than 20 years ago.
In patients with a history of heart problems and strokes, the drug combo was only half as effective compared to the control group  As a simple, cost-effective approach to treating cardiovascular disease.
s as fatty acids in check. Aspirin, an analgesic, has blood-thinning properties.
"Kausik Ray, a professor in public health at Imperial College, London, is not involved in the long term study.
"For chronic diseases, this is a challenge as you are asking people to take multiple medications every day for 30 or 40 years."
Scientists led by Reza Malekzadeh from the Tehran University
of Medical Sciences recruited nearly 7,000 men and women, aged 50 to 75, living in rural Golestan, a province of Iran.
Take your meds
About one in 10 had previously had heart attacks, strokes or other cardiovascular episodes.
Th e participants were divided into two groups of roughly the same size.
Doctors monitored compliance with the drug regime, and then the number of strokes and heart attacks across each of the next five
"Amitava Banerjee, a consultant cardiologist at University College London."
"Drugs do not work," noted Amitava Banerjee, a consultant cardiologist at University College London. Compared with the lifestyle group, the polypill cohort had 34 per cent adverse events. Results were similar for men and women.
"Blood pressure did not differ much, but" bad "(LDL) cholesterol levels were lower in the group taking meds.
" Now we know that a fixed-dose polypill can achieve "Clinical benefits in practice," Malekzadeh said in a statement.
"But the polypill is not an alternative to a healthy lifestyle and should be combined with physical activity, a healthy diet, and smoking cessation."
Other researchers not
"Given the polypill's affordability, there is considerable potential to improve cardiovascular health and prevent the world's leading cause of death," noted co-author Nizal Sarrafzadegan, a researcher at Isfahan University of Medical Sciences.
"Over three-quarters of the 18 million people who live in low and middle-income count each year from cardiovascular diseases called. "- AFP