Magic pill to cut heart attack risk

LONDON: Men over 50 should take daily 3-in-1 ‘polypill’ to keep heart attack at bay, according to a UK government’s leading cardiac expert.

Professor Roger Boyle, the Department of Health’s national director for heart disease and stroke suggested that the magical 1 pound a day pill will have a cholesterol-busting statin, aspirin and drugs to lower blood pressure.

As for women, there was no early requirement of the pill because their hormones protected against heart disease until menopause.

One such polypill is being tested in New Zealand and Professor Boyle, who himself takes statins regularly, believed that taking a polypill to keep a check on BP and cholesterol at 50 will protect from future heart risks.

“Although we have seen a decrease in death rates, heart disease remains our country’s biggest killer. It kills more than all the cancers put together. The short cut to all this is to say that when you are a man of 50, you need treatment,” he was quoted as saying.

He also emphasised that the people should understand the benefits of mass medication, as it could cut down the rate of heart attacks and strokes by 80 per cent.

However, mass medication critics believe that it turns healthy people into patients and might make them neglect exercise and diet.

Professor Peter Weissberg, medical director of the British Heart Foundation, warned about the side-effects of the drug.

“The problem is that if you take a polypill and end up with a side effect, you don’t know which constituent is behind it. It is an interesting concept but you would need proper clinical trials to see if it has acceptable tolerability and works,” he said.

Source: The Times Of India

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