Heart attacks, strokes and other cardiovascular incidents can be cut by 20 to 40 per cent through use of a polypill, which combines three blood pressure medications and a lipid-lowering drug, taken alone or with aspirin.
An international study of people with no previous heart disease or stroke, but at intermediate risk, found the polypill alone may reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, revascularization procedures (such as angioplasty or heart surgery) or other cardiovascular incidents by about 20 per cent, and the combination of the polypill and aspirin may reduce those cardiovascular events by up to 40 per cent.
The study was conducted in 89 centres from nine countries and coordinated globally by the Population Health Research Institute, a joint institute of McMaster University and Hamilton Health Sciences.
“This is the start of a transformational approach to preventing heart disease. We could save millions of people from experiencing serious heart disease or stroke each year with effective use of the polypill and aspirin,” said Salim Yusuf, co-principal investigator for the study and professor of medicine at McMaster University.
“In addition to stopping smoking, the most modifiable risk factors for cardiovascular disease are high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol, so we wanted to test a polypill along with aspirin, which has proven value in people with established vascular disease,” said Yusuf, who is executive director of PHRI and a cardiologist at Hamilton Health Sciences.
As the most common serious illness globally, cardiovascular diseases account for about 18 million deaths each year, with more than 80 per cent of those in low-income and middle-income countries. More than 40 million people around the world are impacted by cardiovascular events each year if those who recover from a heart attack or stroke are included.
The post Researchers discover drug combination dramatically cuts heart attack risk appeared first on Healthwise.