Combination 'polypill' may lower major cardiovascular events risks

Older heart disease patients who took a combination "polypill" made up of three different medications had a lower risk of major cardiovascular events, finds a new study.
Representative image
Representative image Unsplash

BARCELONA: The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, showed that "polypill" effectively prevents secondary adverse cardiovascular events in people who have previously had a heart attack, reducing cardiovascular mortality by 33 per cent in this patient population.

"The polypill, being a very simple strategy that combines three essential treatments for this type of patient, has proved it's worth because the improved adherence means that these patients are receiving better treatment and therefore have a lower risk of recurrent cardiovascular events," said researcher Jose Maria Castellano from Fundacion de Investigacion HM Hospitales.

For the study, presented at the European Society of Cardiology Congress in Spain, the team looked at 2,499 patients in seven European countries who had a history of type 1 myocardial infarction in the past six months and were either over the age of 75 or a minimum age of 65 with at least one risk factor, such as diabetes or mild or moderate kidney dysfunction.

The average age of the participants was 76 years, and 31 per cent were women.

The study population included 77.9 per cent with hypertension, 57.4 per cent with diabetes, and 51.3 per cent with a history of smoking tobacco.

Researchers analysed the incidence of four major cardiovascular events: death from cardiovascular causes, non-fatal myocardial infarction, non-fatal stroke, and the need for emergency coronary revascularization (the restoration of blood flow through a blocked coronary artery).

The study followed patients for an average of three years and produced conclusive results: patients taking the CNIC polypills had a 24 per cent lower risk of these four events than patients taking the three separate drugs.

The findings showed a relative reduction of 33 per cent, from 71 patients in the group receiving standard treatment to just 48 in the polypill group.

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