Hamilton To Host Summit On Preventing Cardiovascular Disease
Hamilton: The Population Health Research Institute (PHRI), based in Hamilton, a world leader in large clinical trials and population studies, will host The Global Summit on Combination Polypharmacy for Cardiovascular Disease next week. Delegates from around the world, including the World Heart Federation (WHF) and the World Health Organization (WHO), will gather to discuss the challenges of promoting and implementing combination polypharmacy therapy or several drugs delivered in one tablet, as an efficient system of cardiovascular disease (CVD) prevention worldwide.
CVD is the leading cause of death and disability in the world, with an estimated 17.3 million deaths in 2008, and a projected 23.6 million deaths by 2030. Low- and middle-income countries carry the greatest burden of CVD, with 80 per cent of the annual deaths and three times the disability. Unlike most chronic conditions, CVD is both preventable and treatable, with high-income countries experiencing a steady decline in recent years, while low- and middle-income countries are burdened with rapidly rising numbers and limited resources for intervention and treatment.
“We have the knowledge and the tools to halve premature cardiovascular disease worldwide in the next 10 years, but we are hampered by a lack of systems for prevention,” says Dr. Salim Yusuf, director of the Population Health Research Institute, vice-president of research for Hamilton Health Sciences and a professor of medicine of McMaster University and its Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine. “Combinations of low cost blood pressure and cholesterol lowering pills are safe, highly effective and inexpensive and can reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes by 60 per cent to 70 per cent.”
Often called the polypill, polycap, or fixed dose combination (FDC), combination polypharmacy is a combination of several drugs in a single tablet. Clinically tested and determined to be an effective intervention in the prevention of strokes and heart disease, the core ingredients of the combination polypharmacy include cholesterol-lowering statin and blood pressure-lowering drugs, delivered in a simplified, one-step, cost-effective tablet. Different companies from India and Europe have developed a combination pill and it is already on the market in a few Asian and Latin American countries. Applications for its use have been filed in Western countries such as the USA, and hopefully soon in Canada.
The Global Summit on Combination Polypharmacy for Cardiovascular Disease will host delegates and keynote speakers from world-leading health organizations such as: The George Institute, Sydney, Australia; Mount Sinai Hospital, New York; the World Health Organization; the World Heart Federation; the U.S. National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute; University of Auckland; and the University of Glasgow. The complete list of keynote speakers, topics, and event schedule is available at www.phri.ca/news .
“Many organizations around the world, including the World Heart Federation, are targeting a reduction of premature mortality from cardiovascular disease by 25 per cent by 2025,” says Dr. Sidney Smith, President of the WHF, “polypharmacy has the potential to make a significant contribution to achieving this goal.”
According to Dr. Shanthi Mendis of the World Health Organization, “Combination therapy can contribute to improved adherence of patients and facilitate the implementation of WHO best buy for reducing cardiovascular risk to prevent heart attacks and strokes.”
The Global Summit on Combination Polypharmacy for Cardiovascular Disease runs Sept, 25 and Sept. 26, at the PHRI, 237 Barton Street East, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
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