Single PILL may prevent heart disease

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A new clinical trial looking at a single pill to prevent cardiovascular disease is starting in Auckland, New Zealand.

The PILL pilot trial, led by the Clinical Trials Research Unit of The University of Auckland, is testing a “polypill” ? a single pill which combines four drugs that each reduce cardiovascular risk factors.

The trial will include 400 people from New Zealand, Australia, Brazil, India, the Netherlands, the UK and the USA.

“Cardiovascular risk is measured through a combination of factors, including cholesterol and blood pressure levels, smoking, family history and being overweight,” says Professor Anthony Rodgers, lead investigator on the New Zealand trial. “The trial will test whether we can identify patients with increased risk early, and safely reduce risk factors with a single, once a day tablet.”

The 12 week trial will assess tolerability of the pill and effects on blood pressure and cholesterol. The study is looking for volunteers who are not currently on associated medication.

“We are expecting many of the trial participants to be men in their 50s and women in their 60s; though younger if they have several risk factors” said Professor Rodgers.

Volunteers who can attend a trial clinic in Glen Innes, Auckland may self-refer via the website or call 3737 599 ext 82358.

ProCare Health Ltd will also recruit participants in Auckland, as will Ngati Porou Hauora in Gisborne. “We are delighted to be part of the trial,” says Dr John Cameron, Medical Director of ProCare Health Ltd. “We will be inviting participation through selected ProCare practices over the next few months.”

The trial is funded by the Health Research Council of New Zealand and the Wellcome Trust.

Source: University of Auckland, New Zealand

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