A large international study has found that a combination of four cholesterol and blood pressure drugs might be able to lower the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and deaths related to other heart ailments by one third. Experts have said that the findings of the research will result in wider use of this polypill approach. As per the reports, scientists have been trying to test cheap and all-in-one combo pills, which can help prevent heart diseases, which is one of the leading causes of death around the world. Scientists have said this polypill approach will not just benefit poor countries but it will help rich countries as well. The lead author of the study Dr. Salim Yusuf from McMaster University in Hamilton has said that it is one of the most sensible approaches people should opt for. Experts who have been involved with the large-scale study have handed over the findings to the American Heart Association. The study has been released in the New England Journal of Medicine as well.
The lead author has said that at least half a dozen pharmaceutical firms sell polypills outside the US along with several companies in Europe. However, these easily available and cheap pills are not widely used and endorsed. Health professionals have been hesitant about prescribing these polypills as no large international study has found that these pills can lessen the risk of death due to heart attacks and strokes until now. The author has said that the findings of the study will change the mindset of health professionals as well. Some experts have agreed with the findings of the new research. Dr. Eugene Yang, a heart specialist from Washington University has said that the study has come out with the best data so far. He has said that the polypill approach can be used in the US where health disparities are quite prevalent. People, who are dealing with access to care issues, might be benefitted from the new approach, which claims to prevent heart diseases.
Experts have analyzed Polycap, a drug, which is produced by India based company called Cadila Pharmaceuticals Ltd. It consists of three blood pressure drugs such as atenolol, ramipril, and hydrochlorothiazide along with a cholesterol-reducing statin. The study has enrolled nearly 5700 volunteers from India, Canada, Malaysia, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Tanzania, Colombia, Philippines, and Tunisia. Women participants of the study have been at least 55 years old, while men participants have been 50 years old. All volunteers have moderately been at risk of heart issues due to high blood pressure, diabetes, or other health conditions. Experts have divided all the participants into groups. One group has been given a low dose of aspirin around 75 milligrams. The other group has been given only a polypill. While the third group has received polypill along with aspirin and people in the fourth group have been given only placebo pills. Neither the scientists nor the participants have been aware of who is taking what treatment until the end of the study. Polypill along with aspirin has been proved to be effective in reducing the risk of heart issues by 31 percent. Nearly four percent of people in this group have been diagnosed with heart problems. While 6 percent of people have developed heart-related diseases in the placebo group. Experts have said that around 1.5 percent of people, who have received polypills have dealt with low blood pressure or dizziness. They have said that such people can be given a lower dose if such problems continue. Some small studies as well have shown that polypill can be beneficial in preventing heart-related ailments.