Despite its attractiveness, the concept of “polypyllus” is one of the most controversial in the scientific community, since earlier studies have not confirmed its effectiveness. An international team of scientists has set itself the goal of assessing the effect of a combination of drugs on reducing the risk of strokes and heart attacks and mortality from cardiovascular diseases. For this, a review of the three largest studies was conducted, which took place over five years in 26 countries of the world with the participation of 18 thousand patients.
The average age of the volunteers was 63 years at the start of the study, 23.4% of them had diabetes and 63.4% had a history of hypertension. The participants were divided into three groups, and one of them received “polypill” with a combination of drugs to lower blood pressure and a statin. The second is a “cocktail” of blood pressure drugs, statin and aspirin. The third group received a placebo.
During the five-year follow-up, various cardiovascular events occurred in 276 volunteers who took polypils and 445 in the control group. The greatest effect was noted in volunteers who took the cocktail with the addition of aspirin – the total risk of cardiovascular diseases decreased by 51 % compared to placebo. The likelihood of a stroke decreased by 51%, a heart attack – by 53%.
Most importantly, regular use of aspirin was not associated with a significant risk of bleeding – one of the most dangerous side effects of acetylsalicylic acid. The only adverse reaction was dizziness.
“The research has been done in high, middle and low income countries and we have seen that such a scheme can be implemented around the world. It is an affordable and inexpensive way to reduce the incidence of cardiovascular disease in the population, ”the review authors said.