Projected impact of polypill use among US adults: Medication use, cardiovascular risk reduction, and side effects

Muntner, Paul; Mann, Devin M.; Wildman, Rachel P.; Shimbo, Daichi; Fuster, Valentin; Woodward, Mark

Polypills, which include multiple medications for reducing cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk in a single pill, have been proposed for population-wide use. The number of US adults eligible for polypills and potential benefits are unknown.

The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2003-2004 and 2007-2008 were analyzed to estimate treatment rates for medications proposed for inclusion in polypills (aspirin, statin, an angiotensin-converting enzyme [ACE] inhibitor, and a thiazide-type diuretic for those without and a β-blocker for those with a history of myocardial infarction) among US adults. The number of coronary heart disease (CHD) and stroke events potentially prevented through polypill use was projected by published meta-analyses and 3 large population-based cohort studies. Two polypill eligibility criteria were analyzed: (1) US adults ≥55 years and (2) US adults with a history of CVD.

There are 67.6 million US adults ≥55 years and 15.4 million US adults with a history of CVD and, thus, eligible for polypills using the 2 outlined criteria. In 2007 to 2008, 37.3% of US adults ≥55 years and 57.0% of those with a history of CVD were taking statins. Use of other polypill medications was also low. Polypill use by US adults aged ≥55 years is projected to potentially prevent 3.2 million CHD events and 1.7 million strokes over 10 years. Among those with a history of CVD, the potential to prevent of 0.9 million CHD events and 0.5 million strokes is projected.

Polypills have the potential to lower CVD incidence substantially among US adults.


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Also Published In

American Heart Journal

More About This Work

Academic Units
Center for Behavioral Cardiovascular Health
Published Here
July 10, 2016