Combination of four drugs could protect against stroke and heart attack?

Combination of four drugs could protect against stroke and heart attack?

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Inexpensive medication could reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes

Can an inexpensive drug consisting of four different drugs improve the treatment of diseases that lead to heart attacks and strokes?

A study paid for by the American Heart Association and the National Institutes of Health examined whether combined drugs can effectively protect low-income people from illnesses. The results of the study were published in the English-language journal "New England Journal of Medicine".

What was the drug made up of?

An inexpensive drug has now been tested in the United States for the first time to determine whether it can protect low-income Americans from diseases that later lead to heart attacks and strokes. The results could contribute to a strategy that was previously only seen as useful in places with limited access to medical care. The compound medicine is also called a so-called poly pill and contains low doses of three blood pressure medications and one cholesterol medication.

What did taking the combined medication do?

About 300 people aged 45 to 75 from a community health center participated in the study. Half of the participants took the combined medication, the other half continued their usual care. After one year, blood pressure and bad cholesterol levels in the drug-treated participants were reduced more than in the comparison subjects. Another study of 6,800 people in Iran over a five-year period that also used a combined drug showed that the risk of heart attack, stroke, or heart failure was reduced by a third.

What kind of people took part in the study?

Most of the people in the study earned less than $ 15,000 a year and 96 percent were African-American. All participants had at least borderline high blood pressure. People were excluded from the study if their bad cholesterol was too high, as this would require more intensive treatment.

Benefits of combined medication

It is advantageous that a combined medication facilitates regular intake. Instead of taking a pill for blood pressure in the morning and remembering a pill for cholesterol in the evening, the combined medication makes it easier to take all the necessary medicines, the researchers emphasize. This could lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, which would be good for our health. (as)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the requirements of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.


  • Daniel Muñoz, Prince Uzoije, Cassandra Reynolds, Roslynn Miller, David Walkley et al .: Polypill for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention in an Underserved Population, in the New England Journal of Medicine (query: 19.09.2019), New England Journal of Medicine

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