A "polypill" that combines a cholesterol-lowering statin drug and three blood pressure drugs reduced patients' "bad" LDL cholesterol by 39% and their blood pressure by 12%, according to a new study.
The UK researchers said the pill could prevent a huge number of heart attacks and strokes each year and called for regulators to make the pill available to patients "as a matter of urgency," BBC New reported.
Benefits of polypill
"The health implications of our results are large," Dr David Wald of Queen Mary, University of London, said."If people took the polypill from age 50, an estimated 28% would benefit by avoiding or delaying a heart attack or stroke during their lifetime."
If half of the people over age 50 in the UK took the polypill daily, there would be 94 000 fewer heart attacks and strokes each year, according to the researchers.
The results from the study of 84 people over the age of 50 were published in the journal PLoS One.
While the pill's potential is interesting, medicines are not a substitute for healthy lifestyle habits such as exercise, good nutrition and not smoking, Natasha Stewart, senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation, told BBC News.
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