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The rationale behind the Polypill Prevention Programme arises from the following:
  • The risk factors concerned (blood pressure, LDL cholesterol and homocysteine) are all positively associated with the risk of heart attack and stroke.
  • There is clear evidence that lowering blood pressure and LDL cholesterol levels reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke in adults, regardless of the starting level of blood pressure and cholesterol.
  • The evidence on reducing homocysteine leading to a reduction in cardiovascular risk is uncertain, but many think that lowering homocysteine levels by taking extra folic acid is of benefit.
  • Selection of people for preventive treatment using age alone is simple and better than selecting them on the basis of their blood pressure or cholesterol level, because most such events occur in people who do not have particularly high levels. Age alone is a practical method of identifying people for preventive treatment for example 96% of deaths from coronary heart disease or stroke occur above age 55, so starting preventive treatment around this age is appropriate.
  • It takes about 2-3 years of treatment to secure the full expected benefit from the preventive treatment.
The Polypill
by Wolfson Institute Website Manager © Queen Mary, University of London 2011
Centre for Environmental and Preventive Medicine, Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine, Barts and The London, Charterhouse Square, London EC1M 6BQ Tel: 020 7882 3850 Fax: 020 7882 6270