A study suggests that a new ‘wonder pill’ have been found out which reduces the risk of heart attacks and strokes by 40%.
The pill contain four other generic drugs and when taken with aspirin has the potential to regulate blood pressure and cholesterol.
The finding could save millions of people from serious heart disease or stroke. Professor Prem Pais, co-principal investigator of the study, said the polypill is both convenient and cost effective to the patients as a single pill combines four other drugs and can be taken once a day.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), Cardiovascular diseases are the number one cause of deaths globally, taking nearly 18 million lives each year.
In Ireland, approximately 10,000 people die each year from cardiovascular disease – including coronary heart disease, stroke and other circulatory diseases.
As part of the international study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the researchers recruited 5,714 participants from nine countries, with men aged 50 or older and women 55 or older who had no previous heart disease or stroke incidents but were at intermediate risk.
They compared the effects of polypill alone and a placebo – a substance designed to have no therapeutic value – then asipirin alone with placebo and the polypill plus asipirin compared to double placebo.
The polypill used in the study consisted of four medications: simvastatin (40mg) – to treat high cholesterol – along with ramipril (10mg), atenolol (100mg) and hydrochlorothiazide (25mg) to reduce high blood pressure.
Those in the aspirin groups were given a daily 75mg dose of the medication. The participants were followed for nearly five years.
The researchers said among those who continued to take the medications without interruption, the benefits of polypill taken with aspirin were larger and was associated with a 40% reduction in risk of cardiovascular events.
Among those who took the polypill along with aspirin, 4.1% experienced a serious cardiovascular event, compared with 5.8 of those who had the double placebo, they added. Prof. Pais from St John’s Medical College and Research Institute in Bangalore, India noted that the use of polypill can reduce the burden of cardiovascular diseases worldwide.