(CRHoy.com) A single daily pill that combines medicines against hypertension and cholesterol as well as aspirin, could reduce the risk of suffering a cardiovascular accident in five years, according to a study published on Friday.
The idea of this treatment called "Polypill" or superpill, whose composition may vary, dates back to about 20 years. But this new study, published in the medical journal The Lancet, it is the first large-scale to assess its effectiveness during such a period.
This comparative test involved a rural Turkmen population in Iran, between 50 and 75 years old. A total of 90% of the 7,000 participants had no history of cardiovascular disease and almost half were women.
One group received only advice on life hygiene (physical activity, quitting smoking …), while another group also took the multiplier. Overall, the risk of suffering a major cardiovascular accident (heart attack, AVC …) was reduced by 34% in the second group compared to the first.
If compared to people taking other cardiovascular medications, the overall protective effect drops to 22%, but remains significant, according to The Lancet.
The treatment contained low doses of two anti-hypertension medications and a moderate dose of an anti-cholesterol as well as aspirin, said Gholamreza Roshandel of the University of Medical Sciences of the Iranian province of Golestán.
"More than three-quarters of the 18 million people who die of cardiovascular disease each year live in low- or middle-income countries," recalled Dr. Nizal Sarrafzadegan, of the Ispahan University of Medical Sciences, co-author of the study.
The strategy of a cheap superpill, "if adopted on a large scale, could play a key role in achieving the ambitious goal of the UN: reduce premature mortality due to cardiovascular disease by at least one third in 2030", stressed.
The study does not allow generalization to other populations. However, a pill that regroups a cocktail of medications makes it easier to respect the treatment (63% of the study participants followed it properly).
"Future studies should compare polypill with medications taken separately, with long-term results," as well as assess its effects "on the general population of several countries," according to Dr. Amitava Banerjee, of University College London, who He did not participate in the project.