Significant improvements in adherence, blood pressure, and LDL cholesterol with polypill

From Cardiology News, 6 May 2014:

A polypill combining aspirin, simvastatin, and two antihypertensive drugs has shown a significant improvement in adherence as well as reductions in blood pressure and LDL cholesterol in patients with existing heart disease, according to data from a large international multicenter trial.

The Single Pill to Avert Cardiovascular Events (SPACE) project – a randomized, open-label, controlled trial in 3,140 patients – showed a 43% increase in patient adherence to their medication at 12 months.

Data presented at the World Congress of Cardiology 2014 showed the polypill also led to a statistically significant 2.8–mm Hg drop in systolic blood pressure and 0.1 mmol/L decline in LDL cholesterol.

Presenter and epidemiologist Dr. Ruth Webster said adherence was one of three primary outcomes of the analysis, which included data from three separately run but coordinated trials in Australia, New Zealand, Europe, and India.

“In high-income countries, about 50% of people who should be taking their medications take them, and in lower-middle income countries, 90% of people don’t take their medications,” said Dr. Webster, international coordinator for the SPACE collaboration and research fellow at The George Institute for Global Health.

“An estimated 100 million people worldwide should be taking these drugs but aren’t, so in that context even small improvements in blood pressure and LDL cholesterol will have a massive impact globally,” Dr. Webster said at the meeting sponsored by the World Heart Federation. Read more.

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