Drug combo treatment could cut death risk by 33% after a heart attack

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In a study from The Mount Sinai Hospital, scientists found a three-drug medication known as a “polypill” is effective in cutting death risk by 33% in people who had a heart attack.

Patients recovering from a heart attack are prescribed specific treatments to prevent subsequent heart events.

Standard therapy includes three different drugs: an antiplatelet agent (like aspirin); ramipril or a similar drug to control blood pressure; and a lipid-reducing drug, such as a statin.

However, fewer than 50 percent of patients consistently adhere to their medication regimen.

In the study, the team tested if taking a simple polypill in the first week after having a heart attack may help improve health outcome in patients.

The polypill analyzed in the study, commercialized under the name Trinomia, contains aspirin (100 mg), the angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor ramipril (2.5, 5, or 10 mg), and atorvastatin (20 or 40 mg).

The team tested 2,499 patients from seven European countries (Spain, Italy, Germany, the Czech Republic, France, Poland, and Hungary) recovering after a heart attack.

The average age of the participants was 76 years, and 31 percent were women. The study population included 77.9 percent with hypertension, 57.4 percent with diabetes, and 51.3 percent with a history of smoking tobacco.

The team followed patients for an average of three years and found conclusive results: patients taking the polypills had a 24% lower risk of heart disease events than patients taking the three separate drugs.

The standout finding of the study is the effect of the polypill on the key outcome of heart-related death, which showed a relative reduction of 33 percent.

Importantly, the study found that patients in the polypill group had a higher level of treatment adherence than those in the control group.

It suggests in part such good adherence appears to explain the benefits of the simple polypill.

These study findings suggest that the polypill could become an integral element of strategies to prevent recurrent heart disease events in patients who have had a heart attack.

By simplifying treatment and improving adherence, this approach has the potential to reduce the risk of recurrent heart disease and death on a global scale.

If you care about heart attack, please read studies about how to treat and prevent heart attack in people with diabetes, and COVID-19 is a much bigger risk to the heart than vaccination.

For more information about heart health, please see recent studies about how to reverse heart failure with diet, and results showing cannabis and heart attack: what you need to know.

The study was conducted by Valentin Fuster et al and published in The New England Journal of Medicine.

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