Pill Could Offer Seniors Years More to Live

But some experts call for more testing
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 19, 2012 3:43 PM CDT
Pill Could Offer Seniors Years More to Live
Researchers say a pill could help fend off heart attacks and strokes for years.   (Shutterstock)

A new one-a-day pill could offer 11 more years of life to 28% of people over 50, researchers say. The "polypill"—a combination of blood pressure-lowering and cholesterol-fighting drugs—could lower heart attack risk by 72% and stroke risk by 64%. On top of all that, it could cost just 80 cents a day, the Telegraph reports. In a study of 84 subjects, researchers found that the pill lowered blood pressure by 12% and "bad" cholesterol levels by 39%.

Not everyone would see the drug's full benefits, says the lead researcher. Still, "on average, those who benefit would gain 11 years of life without a heart attack or stroke." The researcher—whose father holds patents for the drug, the BBC notes—says the drug should be on the market as soon as possible. But other experts say much more extensive research must be done. "The history of medicine is rich with ideas that sounded great but either didn’t prove effective—or worse, did harm," says one. (More pills stories.)

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