Monday, 30 January 2012

Aspirin + Statin + Blood-pressure lowering Polypill

reposted from: The Lancetdoi:10.1016/S0140-6736(11)60665-X

Aspirin in the prevention of cancer

Peter Rothwell and colleagues, in their meta-analysis of randomised trials (Jan 1, p 31),1 show that low-dose long-term aspirin use reduces the risk of several cancers. Before this information was available, the balance of benefit and harm in taking aspirin in the primary prevention of coronary heart disease and stroke (cardiovascular disease [CVD]) was uncertain. The new data on cancer help to clarify the net benefit of aspirin, particularly if aspirin were included with a statin and blood-pressure-lowering drugs in a combined formulation (Polypill).

The table shows the estimated number of first CVD events and cancer deaths prevented in England and Wales in 1 year on the basis of a Polypill (composed of three blood-pressure-lowering drugs at half standard dose and a statin at standard dose such as simvastatin 40 mg), with or without aspirin. In people aged 55—89 years, for example, 186 000 CVD events and cancer deaths would be prevented. The table shows that 120 such outcomes would be prevented in 1000 people over a period of 20 years (or 170 per 1000 over 35 years).2—6
Aspirin causes substantially fewer major extracranial bleeds that require a blood transfusion than the number of CVD events and cancer deaths prevented (table). However, the risk of an aspirin-induced major extracranial bleed increases with age.4 The estimates for such bleeds shown in the table among people aged 55 years over a period of 20 years are based on observed data and are likely to be accurate, but the numbers in people older than 75 years are uncertain—they would be twice those shown if the age trend to 75 years continues to 90 years.
Given the results published by Rothwell and colleagues,1 the balance of the evidence is in favour of including aspirin in a Polypill strategy to prevent CVD and cancer.
NW and ML hold a European and Canadian patent (pending in the USA) for the Polypill, filed in April 2000.


1 Rothwell PMFowkes FGBelch JFOgawa HWarlow CPMeade TWEffect of daily aspirin on long-term risk of death due to cancer: analysis of individual patient data from randomised trialsLancet 201137731-41Summary | Full Text | PDF(502KB) |CrossRef | PubMed
2 Law MWald NMorris JLowering blood pressure to prevent myocardial infarction and stroke: a new preventive strategy.Health Technol Assess 2003731PubMed
3 Office for National StatisticsMortality statistics: deaths registered in 2009London: Stationery Office, 2010. April 27, 2011).
4 Antithrombotic Trialists' (ATT) CollaborationAspirin in the primary and secondary prevention of vascular disease: collaborative meta-analysis of individual participant data from randomised trialsLancet 20093731849-1860Summary | Full Text | PDF(329KB) CrossRef | PubMed
5 Law MRWald NJRudnicka ARQuantifying the effect of statins on low density lipoprotein cholesterol, ischaemic heart disease, and stroke: systematic review and meta-analysisBMJ 20033261423-1427CrossRef | PubMed
6 Wald NJLaw MRA strategy to reduce cardiovascular disease by more than 80%BMJ 20033261419-1423CrossRef |PubMed
a Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine, Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London, London EC1M 6BQ, UK
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