A large, randomised, controlled trial that included 5,700 participants considered at intermediate risk of CVD, found that the polypill could significantly reduce the risk of cardiovascular (CVD) events.
A polypill refers to a single pill that contains generic blood pressure and cholesterol medication. The study showed that when taken daily together with 75mg aspirin, reduced CVD events (e.g. non-fatal heart attack or stroke, heart failure, heart attack or cardiovascular death) by up to 31% compared with placebo. When taken alone, the polypill reduced CVD by 21%. Minimal side effects were observed in all intervention groups.
The study was conducted in 9 countries where participants were followed up to 5 years. The average age of the participants was 64 years and 47% were male. Results were also presented recently at the virtual American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2020.
Why it matters: The study findings suggest that the polypill taken with with aspirin could be an effective strategy for preventing CVD in those with no history of CVD events but were at an intermediate risk. Given its simple formulation, it is also cost-effective and could potentially help to reduce the global burden of CVD and CVD-related deaths.