The Spanish polypill reduces cardiovascular mortality in relapses by heart attack by 33%

The polypill developed by the National Center for Cardiovascular Research (CNIC) and the company Ferrer is effective in preventing cardiovascular events in patients who have suffered a heart attack, reducing mortality from these causes by 33%. This is shown by the study SECURE coordinated by the CNIC and whose results have been published in ‘The New England Journal of Medicine’ (NEJM).

The drug in question includes three medications: aspirin, an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor, which relaxes veins and arteries to lower blood pressure, and a statin (lowers cholesterol).

“The results reveal, for the first time, that the polypill containing aspirin, atorvastatin and ramipril achieves clinically relevant reductions in recurrent cardiovascular events in patients who have suffered a myocardial infarction”, emphasizes the principal investigator of the SECURE study, Valentín Fuster, Director General of the CNIC.

The effects of the polypill

SECURE included 2,499 patients from 7 European countries (Spain, Italy, Germany, Czech Republic, France, Poland and Hungary) who had suffered a myocardial infarction who were randomly assigned to receive standard treatment or the CNIC polypill . The average age of the participants was 76 years and 31% were women. 77.9% had hypertension, 57.4% diabetes, and 51.3% a history of smoking.

The primary endpoint of the study included major cardiovascular events: death from cardiovascular causes, nonfatal myocardial infarction, stroke, or urgent revascularization. The data of the study with a follow-up of the patients of up to three years, are conclusive regarding this objective. The study found a 24% decrease in the cumulative risk of presenting these four events in patients who received the polypill compared to those who continued to take the treatment separately on a regular basis.

Especially relevant are the effects of the polypill on one of the most determining variables, the incidence of cardiovascular death, which decreased by 33%, from 71 patients in the usual treatment group to 48 in the polypill group.

In addition, patients in the polypill group had higher levels of adherence compared to those in the usual care group, thus confirming the findings of the study. FOCUSalso financed by the EU.

Reduce the risk of cardiovascular events

“Adherence to treatment after an acute myocardial infarction is essential for effective secondary prevention. The polypill, as a very simple strategy that combines three of the baseline treatments in this type of patient, has proven its value”, adds José María Castellano, scientific director of the HM Hospitales Research Foundation and first author of the publication.

The increase in adherence implies that patients are being better treated and, as a result, have a lower risk of suffering cardiovascular events

Fuster concludes: “The findings of the SECURE study suggest that the polypill could become an integral part of strategies to prevent cardiovascular events in patients who have suffered a heart attack. By simplifying treatment and improving adherence, this approach has the potential to reduce the risk of recurrent disease and cardiovascular death on a global scale.

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