In a recent study published in The Lancet, researchers found a combination therapy of aspirin, statins and at least two blood pressure drugs can cut the risk of heart disease and stroke by more than half.
The fixed-dose combination (FDC) therapies were examined both with and without aspirin in an analysis of more than 18,000 patients without prior heart problems.
The team found FDCs including aspirin cut the risk of heart attacks by 53%, stroke by 51%, and deaths from heart causes by 49%.
The benefits are consistent at different blood pressure levels, cholesterol levels and with or without diabetes, but larger benefits may occur in older people.
The study is from McMaster University. One author is Philip Joseph.
About 80% of heart events occur in individuals without a prior history of such illness.
The study involved researchers from 13 countries and included participants from 26 countries.
The researchers previously thought to substantially reduce CVD events with ‘polypills’.
Early trials demonstrated improved patient adherence to treatment regimens and better risk factor control with a polypill, compared to the use of single drugs, usual care, or placebos.
Researchers gleaned their findings from combining data from three big studies on a total of 18,000 people who followed for about 5 years.
The demonstration of a low-cost approach using fixed-dose combinations to reduce heart disease by about 50% is extraordinary and represents a huge opportunity to tackle the condition globally.
The researchers are pleased that they contributed to the development of robust evidence indicating that the polypill or fixed-dose combinations involving blood pressure lowering, statins and aspirin can reduce heart disease substantially.
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