WEDNESDAY, Nov. 18, 2020 — A polypill comprising statins and blood pressure-lowering drugs, with or without aspirin, is associated with a lower incidence of cardiovascular events, according to a study published online Nov. 13 in the New England Journal of Medicine to coincide with the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2020, held virtually from Nov. 13 to 17.
Salim Yusuf, D.Phil., from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, and colleagues randomly assigned 5,713 participants without cardiovascular disease who had an elevated INTERHEART Risk Score to receive either a polypill or placebo daily; aspirin or placebo daily; and vitamin D or placebo monthly. The primary outcome for the polypill alone and polypill plus aspirin comparisons was death from cardiovascular causes, myocardial infarction, stroke, resuscitated cardiac arrest, heart failure, or revascularization. The primary outcome for the aspirin comparison was death from cardiovascular causes, myocardial infarction, or stroke.
The researchers found that for the polypill comparison, the primary outcome occurred in 4.4 and 5.5 percent of the polypill and placebo groups, respectively (hazard ratio, 0.79; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.63 to 1.00). For the aspirin comparison, the primary outcome occurred in 4.1 and 4.7 percent of the aspirin and placebo groups, respectively (hazard ratio, 0.86; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.67 to 1.10). For the polypill plus aspirin comparison, the primary outcome occurred in 4.1 and 5.8 percent of the combined treatment and double placebo groups, respectively (hazard ratio, 0.69; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.50 to 0.97).
“We could save millions of people from experiencing serious heart disease or stroke each year with effective use of the polypill and aspirin,” Yusuf said in a statement.
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