Combination of Meds May Protect Heart Best

Published Online: Friday, July 1, 2005

Researchers report that a combination of 3 medicines—aspirin, blood pressure-lowering beta-blockers, and cholesterol-lowering statins—may more effectively improve the chances of survival for patients with heart disease than any of those taken alone. A study conducted at the University of Nottingham, England, showed that the combination resulted in an 83% reduction in deaths among these patients. The study is the first large-scale, long-term trial to find different drug combinations effective in the reduction of the risk of death in patients with heart disease. Experts have previously believed that a statin-aspirin-beta-blocker combination, along with folic acid, should be developed into a single pill that could be taken by all seniors 55 and older. Although the study suggests that such a pill could help patients with preexisting heart disease, there is no evidence to suggest that this pill should be prescribed for all seniors.

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