Now Prevent Heart Attacks and Strokes with a `Super Pill’

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
May 12, 2014

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Heart Attack PillMillions of people can now be prevented from heart attacks and strokes with the use of a daily `super pill’, suggested a recent study which was done using data from several countries including India.

This study is the largest ever analysis done to determine the use of a polypill in cardiovascular disease and the research has shown potential for improvements in patient care, said the researchers.

Almost every 1 in 4 patients stuck to the treatment and showed improvements in blood pressure and cholesterol.

The new data was presented for the first time at the World Heart Federations’ World Congress of Cardiology 2014. According to the data, when patients with high risk of heart attack or stroke had a polypill, an improvement in patient adherence and risk factor control was seen.

A polypill is a combination of commonly used blood pressure and cholesterol lowering medication and aspirin which prevents cardiovascular disease.

The research was conducted under the Single Pill to Avert Cardiovascular Events project which was led by researchers from The George

Institute for Global Health. During the research, data of 3,410 patients suffering from CVD or at high risk of CVD in Europe, India and Australia were analysed. The results of the study showed an increase of 43% in patient adherence to medication at 12 months with the polypill, in addition to corresponding improvements in systolic blood pressure and LDL-cholesterol that were highly statically significant.

Patients who did not receive all recommended medications at baseline, which corresponds to most cardiovascular disease patients around the world, were the ones to receive the largest benefits.
Ruth Webster of the George Institute for Global Health said "these results are an important step forward in the polypill journey and management of cardiovascular disease". He added "an important finding from our analyses is that the greatest benefits from a polypill were for currently untreated individuals".

Diseases related to the heart kill 17.3 million people each year making them to be the number one cause of death across the globe. According to researcher, the cardiovascular diseases are expected to remain the leading cause of deaths in the future too.

"These results emphasize the importance of the polypill as a foundation for a global strategy on cardiovascular disease prevention", said professor Salim Yusuf, President-elect of the World Heart Federation. He also said "it will improve patient access to essential medications at an affordable cost and wide use of the polypill can avoid several millions of premature CVD events".

Image courtesy: Getty Images

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