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Thursday, 7 August 2014
Push for 5p-a-day superpill that could add years to your life.
MILLIONS of Britons should be taking a superpill to dramatically add years to their lives, experts have revealed.
They say a three-in-one tablet can help people live longer after a heart attack or stroke.
A major review of available evidence has shown it can slash their risk of dying prematurely.
Many scientists have already called for the combined pill to be available for all patients who have suffered a potentially fatal attack.
The wonderpill, costing as little as 5p a day, replaces the need for a cocktail of drugs.
Millions already take daily statin, aspirin and blood pressure drugs to lower their risk of another heart attack or stroke.
Now researchers from Spain and the US confirm the polypill, which combines all the medications and is taken just once a day, is an effective way to ensure people keep taking their drugs while lowering costs.
The study concludes: “The polypill has immense potential, few adverse effects and robust supportive evidence.
“Strong, comparable alternatives are sparse. Gradually, the role of the polypill in cardiovascular prevention is being defined.
“Further research of the polypill is needed with the collective results having the potential power to change the face of health care across the world.”
The research team was led by Dr Valentin Fuster at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York.
Cardiovascular disease is the globe’s biggest killer and in the UK alone it claims 160,000 lives each year, mainly from heart conditions.
It is an umbrella term for all diseases of the heart and circulation, including stroke, heart failure, cardiomyopathy and atrial fibrillation.
There are seven million people living with it in the UK and the total cost of premature death, lost productivity, hospital treatment and prescriptions is estimated at £19billion.
Researchers say “major trials” are underway which will “provide definitive evidence on the efficacy of the polypill in reducing cardiovascular events in a cost-effective manner”.
Earlier this year, research by Dr Ruth Webster of The George Institute for Global Health in Sydney, Australia, showed people were more likely to remember to take a single, fixed-dose pill than separate medicines.
More than three-quarters of those at high risk of a heart attack were still taking a single pill after a year compared with just over half of patients on a daily combination of drugs.
The findings of the latest study are published online in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.