Heart Attack & Stroke: Combined medicine could prevent many heart diseases

Heart Attack & Stroke: Combined medicine could prevent many heart diseases

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Polypille prevents heart attacks and strokes

A pill taken daily, which consists of four different medications, could reduce the number of heart attacks and strokes worldwide by a third. At least that's what the authors of a current study who tested the combined effects of different medicines claim.

A recent study by the Tehran University of Medical Sciences found that a combination of different medications in a pill taken daily can significantly reduce the number of heart attacks and strokes. The results of the study were published in the English language journal "The Lancet".

What is the pill made up of?

The so-called poly pill contains blood-thinning aspirin, a cholesterol-lowering statin and two medicines to lower blood pressure, the researchers report. The pill has a big impact on health, but it only costs a few cents a day. Coronary artery disease and stroke are the two leading causes of death worldwide, killing more than 15 million people annually. This shows how important it is to develop effective medicines for disease prevention. Smoking, obesity and little exercise increase the risk of heart disease.

Almost 6,800 people took part in the study

Almost 6,800 people were examined for the study. Half of the participants received the polyp pill and advice on how to improve their lifestyle, while the other half only received advice. After five years of testing, 202 major cardiovascular events could be identified in the 3421 patients who took the polyp pill. In contrast, there were 301 cases among the 3,417 participants who only received advice.

Pill lowered unhealthy cholesterol

The poly pill led to a sharp reduction in unhealthy cholesterol, but had only a minor influence on blood pressure, the researchers explain. The drug was administered to people over the age of 50, regardless of whether they previously had a heart problem or not. Given the affordability of the poly pill, there is considerable potential to improve cardiovascular health and prevent one of the leading causes of death worldwide, according to the researchers.

More research is needed

In the UK and other wealthy countries, the health care system offers the option to assess the needs of individual patients and choose from a wide range of different medicines, such as statins, which is often not the case in poorer countries, the research team continues. In many countries in the western world, the benefits of the poly pill would therefore be marginal, but the population in countries with poor health systems in particular could benefit. Further investigations should now examine the advantages of the poly pill - also compared to the commonly used medication. (as)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.


  • Gholamreza Roshandel, Masoud Khoshnia, Hossein Poustchi, Karla Hemming, Farin Kamangar et al .: Effectiveness of polypill for primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular diseases (PolyIran): a pragmatic, cluster-randomized trial, in The Lancet (query: 23.08.2019 ), The Lancet

Video: How to Prevent a Million Heart Attacks and Strokes (July 2022).


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