Experts claim a new super pill could save millions of lives across the world.
A new super pill containing a combination of drugs could significantly improve blood pressure and cholesterol levels - dramatically reducing the number of deaths resulting from cardiovascular disease.
Scientists at The George Institute for Global Health in Sydney, Australia, claim the inexpensive polypill - which contains aspirin, and commonly-used blood pressure and cholesterol lowering medications - offers "considerable potential to improve global health".
A significant finding was that patients who are at high risk of a heart attack or a stroke adhere better to their treatment when they take the polypill.
Sticking to just one pill a day means that patients are more likely to continue to take their medication, whereas numerous daily pills tends to put them off.
The Single Pill to Avert Cardiovascular Events (SPACE) project involved the analysis of data from 3,140 patients who had been diagnosed with cardiovascular disease or were at high risk of the illness.
The results showed a 43% rise in patient adherence to medication after 12 months with the polypill, along with significant improvements in blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Professor Salim Yusuf, President-elect of the World Heart Federation said: "These results emphasise the importance of the polypill as a foundation for a global strategy on cardiovascular disease prevention.
"It will improve patient access to essential medications at an affordable cost and wide use of the polypill can avoid several millions of premature cardiovascular disease events."
Cardiovascular disease kills 17.3 million people globally each year, but access to treatment such as the polypill could help to reduce premature mortality from non-contagious diseases by 25% in the next 10 years. This is currently the target of the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Despite the proven success of polypill, Prof Yusuf does stress that it should not be considered a replacement for a healthy lifestyle of a balanced diet and physical activity - both of which are essential for managing blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
High blood pressure is a common symptom of stress, so you should aim to get any anxiety under control. Complementary therapy treatments have long been associated with their stress-relieving benefits, and there are a variety available. Please see our therapy topics page for more information.
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