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Perspectives

Role of polypills in primary prevention of CVD

Ruth Webster, Anushka Patel

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Abstract

Cardiovascular polypills containing aspirin, blood pressure lowering-medication and statins have been shown to improve adherence to recommended medications in patients at high risk of cardiovascular disease. However, the balance of risks and benefits of using polypills for primary prevention of cardiovascular disease is unclear. This is likely to be further clarified shortly with several large scale, long-term randomised trials underway.

Key Points

  • Cardiovascular polypills combine commonly recommended blood pressure-lowering medications and statins, with or without aspirin, for the prevention of cardiovascular disease.
  • In the context of secondary and high-risk primary prevention, the availability of polypills has been shown to improve adherence to these recommended treatments, with corresponding lowering of blood pressure and LDL-cholesterol levels.
  • Evidence about the risks and benefits of polypill use for the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease in a broader population is not yet available.
  • Over the next few years,the results of at least three large studies evaluating a range of polypills for cardiovascular disease prevention will become available.

    Picture credit: © Ivary Images/Diomedia.com

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