CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE

Prevention with a polypill

N. Engl. J. Med. 381, 1114–1123 (2019)

A randomized controlled trial shows that a polypill containing four inexpensive medications is effective in lowering cardiovascular disease risk in an underserved population—a group of primarily minority and low-income individuals.

The clinical benefits of polypills—pills containing combinations of fixed doses of drugs known to be beneficial for preventing or treating a disease or a set of related diseases—are well established. But whether an inexpensive polypill might be beneficial in groups with low socioeconomic status, which pose challenges to conventional treatment options, hasn’t yet been tested.

Thomas J. Wang and colleagues find that a polypill costing $26 per month leads to greater reductions in two important risk factors for cardiovascular disease—systolic blood pressure and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol—after 12 months of treatment, as compared to usual care.

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Correspondence to Michael Basson.

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Basson, M. Prevention with a polypill. Nat Med 25, 1647 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41591-019-0658-1

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