24-Hour Crisis Hotline: (877)SAFEGBC or (877)723-3422 Mental Health & Substance Abuse Issues

6502 Nursery Drive, Suite 100
Victoria, TX 77904
(361)575-0611
Fax: (361)578-5500
Regular Hours: M-Fri 8am - 5pm
Every 3rd Thurs of the Month - Extended Hours Until 7 pm

Medical Disorders
Resources
Basic InformationLookupsLatest News
Is Rise in Liver Damage Tied to More Drinking During Lockdowns?Bike-Linked Head Injuries Plummet for U.S. Kids, But Not AdultsDialysis Patients Have Weaker Response to COVID Vaccine: StudyWith New Mask Guidance Comes the Challenge of Following ItWeight-Loss Surgery Might Also Help Prevent CataractsAHA News: What to Tell Your Young Teen About Their Shot at the COVID-19 VaccineWhat Works Best to Ease Recurrent Ear Infections in Kids?Mixing COVID Vaccines Might Raise Odds for Minor Reactions: StudyCOVID More Lethal for People Living With HIVNew Drug Shows Promise Against Tough-to-Manage AsthmaFully Vaccinated Can Shed Masks in Most Outdoor, Indoor Settings: CDCAHA News: 5 Things to Know About Blood Pressure Before It's a ProblemModerna Vaccine Can Trigger Red, Itchy 'COVID Arm,' But It's TemporaryCould a Vaccine Against Future Pandemics Be on the Way?Debunking Social Media Myth, Study Finds COVID Vaccine Won't Harm PlacentaU.S. Seniors Are Getting Fewer Abdominal SurgeriesMost Severe COVID Cases Involve Neuro Issues, and They're More Often FatalAny COVID-19 Infection Raises Odds for Lingering Symptoms, Study FindsNew Insights Into Treating Mild Head InjuriesAlcohol Is No Friend to Social DistancingGene-Targeted Drug Shows Promise Against a Form of Pancreatic CancerFDA Approves Emergency Use of Pfizer Vaccine for Those Aged 12 to 15Ibuprofen, Similar Painkillers Won't Raise Risks for COVID PatientsObesity Raises Odds for Many Common CancersAsthma Attacks Plummeted During PandemicWhy Sleep Raises Risk for Sudden Death in People With EpilepsyLockdown Loneliness Making Things Even Tougher for Cancer PatientsCOVID Vaccines May Still Leave Organ Transplant Recipients UnprotectedPfizer, Moderna or J&J? An Expert Answers Your QuestionsHow Summer Camps Can Shield Your Kids from Allergies, Asthma & COVIDCould Your Child Have a Heart Defect? Know the Warning SignsGene Tied to Balding May Also Raise COVID Risks for MenTime Spent in ICU Linked to Higher Odds for Suicide LaterState of Mind Matters for Survival After Heart AttackFailing Kidneys Could Bring Higher Dementia RiskAir Pollution Can Harm Kids' Hearts for a LifetimePoll Finds Many Parents Hesitant to Get Younger Kids VaccinatedObesity More Deadly for Men Than Women When COVID StrikesIsrael Study: Pfizer Vaccine Gives 95% Protection Against Illness, Hospitalization & DeathReal-World Studies Show Pfizer Vaccine Shields Against COVID Variants1 in 4 U.S. Teens Has Had a Concussion: StudyWhat's the Right Amount of Sleep for a Healthy Heart?U.S. COVID Outlook Shows Big Improvement by July'Prediabetes' Raises Odds for Heart Attack, StrokeA Vitamin Could Be Key to Women's Pain After Knee ReplacementBiden Sets New Goal of Vaccinating 70% of Americans by July 4Wildfires Are Changing the Seasonal Air Quality of the U.S. WestMany Americans Wrong About Sun's Skin Cancer Dangers: PollNot Just About Antibodies: Why mRNA COVID Vaccines May Shield From VariantsYou Got Your COVID Shot: What to Do With That Vaccine Card
Questions and AnswersLinks
Related Topics

Diabetes

Combo 'Polypill' May Cut Heart Attack, Stroke Risk Up to 40%

HealthDay News
by By Dennis Thompson HealthDay Reporter
Updated: Nov 16th 2020

new article illustration


MONDAY, Nov. 16, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- A single pill loaded with cholesterol and blood pressure medications can reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke by as much as 40%, a new international study reports.

The "polypill" containing three generic blood pressure medications and a statin dramatically reduced the risk of heart-related illness in people with no prior history of heart problems, according to clinical trial results.

When taken on its own, the polypill reduced by about 20% the risk of heart attack, stroke, procedures to reopen clogged arteries and other heart disease, the researchers reported.

The polypill combined with daily low-dose aspirin was even more effective, reducing heart health problems by up to 40%, the findings showed.

"We've estimated that if even just one-half of people with high blood pressure or diabetes were treated with such a polypill, at least somewhere between 2 and 4 million premature deaths, heart attacks and strokes would be avoided every year," said lead researcher Dr. Salim Yusuf, a professor of medicine at McMaster University in Canada.

Such a polypill would have other benefits as well, Yusuf said. It would be easier for patients, who wouldn't have to juggle fistfuls of daily medications, and for doctors who'd only have to write one prescription. A single pill also is cheaper to market and distribute.

"I personally would just like to get people to use the components either separately or together. If it's more convenient together, why not?" Yusuf said.

The study results were published online Nov. 13 in the New England Journal of Medicine. For the trial, more than 5,700 people from nine countries were randomly assigned to one of four groups. They were asked to take one of the following daily: both the polypill and aspirin, the polypill alone, aspirin alone, or only a placebo.

The polypill used in this study included cholesterol-lowering simvastatin and three blood pressure meds (a beta blocker called atenolol, a diuretic called hydrochlorothiazide and an ACE inhibitor called ramipril).

Compared with placebo, the polypill successfully lowered blood pressure and cholesterol, the investigators found.

Only 4.4% of those who took the polypill alone had a heart attack, stroke, artery-reopening procedure or died of heart disease, compared to 5.5% who took the placebo. About 4.1% of those who took aspirin alone developed heart-related illness, compared to 4.7% of those with the placebo.

Combining a polypill with aspirin provided the best benefits, the study authors said.

The polypill/aspirin combination reduced heart problems and deaths by 31%, the researchers discovered. People who continued to take the pill without interruption for about four years saw a 40% reduced risk of heart problems.

"When you look at the combination of aspirin and the polypill, you definitely see a meaningful reduction in cardiovascular events," said Dr. Eugene Yang, chair-elect of the American College of Cardiology's Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease Council.

In the United States, such a polypill could be a valuable tool in protecting the heart health of people who have less access to health care, Yang said.

"With the health care disparities that exist in this country, there could be opportunities where a polypill in the United States would be beneficial," Yang said.

Currently, no such cholesterol/blood pressure polypill exists in the United States, Yusuf said.

Yang pointed out that "the fact that it's generic is a double-edged sword, because no big pharma company is willing to invest a lot of money in developing and marketing a polypill. It may require either health insurance companies or governments or charitable organizations to develop polypills."

There also might be some reluctance among doctors to prescribe a pill loaded with a number of different medications, Yang added.

"We've all been taught in medical school you need to give one drug at a time and see what it does before you add a second one," Yang said.

The study was 95% funded by charitable organizations like the Wellcome Trust UK and government agencies, Yang said. The Indian company Cadila Pharmaceuticals provided 5% of the funding, which included production and distribution of the polypills.

The researchers presented their findings over the weekend at this year's virtual meeting of the American Heart Association.

More information

Harvard Medical School has more about polypills.

SOURCES: Salim Yusuf, MD, DPhil, professor, medicine, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada; Eugene Yang, MD, chair-elect, American College of Cardiology's Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease Council; New England Journal of Medicine, Nov. 13, 2020, online