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Researchers Recommend 'Polypill' Strategy In Controlling Heart Disease

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A new research claims that a daily dose of a 'polypill' combining aspirin with drugs that lower blood pressure and cholesterol has the potential to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke considerably.

The study published in the Lancet proposed a cheap polypill targeting low-income and middle-income countries, which contains blood-thinning aspirin, a cholesterol-lowering statin and two drugs to lower blood pressure.

The 'PolyIran' study was conducted to assess the effectiveness and safety of a four-component polypill including aspirin, atorvastatin, hydrochlorothiazide, and either enalapril or valsartan for primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease.

The researchers in Iran and the UK reached the findings after conducting a study between February 2011 and April 2013 among 6838 people aged 40-75 years in Iran's Golestan province.

Half of them were supplied the polypill tablets and advice on how to improve their lifestyle, while the other half were only given the advice.

After five years, it was noticed that 202 people who consumed the polypill had major heart diseases, while the rate was higher among the other group. 301 people who did not get the pill suffered cardiovascular problems. The study found that the use of polypill was effective in preventing major cardiovascular ailments.

"Medication adherence was high and adverse event numbers were low," the report says.

The polypill strategy could be considered as an additional effective component in controlling cardiovascular diseases, especially in low-income and middle-income countries, where it cold be given to everyone over a certain age, the researchers suggest.

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