This is the VOA Special English Health Report.
have shown that the fewer medicines a person has to take the more likely he or
she will take them. Last week, a study
was released about a new treatment that combines five medicines for heart
disease in one pill. Salim Yusuf of
McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada was the lead investigator. He
presented the findings at the American College of Cardiology Conference in
experimental drug is known as Polycap. It contains aspirin, a drug to lower cholesterol and three medicines to
lower blood pressure. The study was carried out at fifty health centers across
India. More than two thousand people between the ages of forty-five and eighty took
part in the study. All had at least one
risk factor for heart disease. These include high blood pressure, high
cholesterol, diabetes or being severely overweight.
people were divided into nine groups of about two hundred people each. One group took Polycap. The other groups took either a single drug or
different combinations of the medicines in the Polycap pill. The study showed that Polycap lowered blood
pressure and cholesterol without many side effects. Doctor Yusuf said the
single pill, taken once a day, could reduce the average person's risk of heart
disease and stroke by about half. The maker of Polycap, Cadila Pharmaceuticals
of India, paid for the study.
Cardiovascular diseases of the heart and blood vessels
are the number one cause of death around the world. These diseases kill more than seventeen million
people every year.
percent of them are in low and middle income countries. Doctor Yusuf said the
single pill treatment could revolutionize heart disease prevention. People would be more likely to take one pill
a day than many pills. And one pill
would cost less than several pills.
Other heart doctors say heart disease
prevention is important but not necessarily with pills. They say patients might be able to get the
same results with changes in diet and exercise.
say that more research on Polycap is needed. They say the drug should be tested on thousands more people, including those
in different risk, age and ethnic groups.
that's the VOA Special English Health Report, written by Caty Weaver. Transcripts, MP3s and podcasts of our programs
are at voaspecialenglish.com. I'm Steve Ember.