by Dr John Briffa
The Cholesterol Truth


More than a decade ago, some British researchers put forward the idea of a ‘polypill’ – a combination medication designed with the prevention of cardiovascular problems, such as heart disease and stroke, in mind. The original ‘formulation’ combined blood pressure and cholesterol-lowering medications, along with aspirin and vitamin B12. From time to time in the scientific literature we have seen studies which purport to support the idea of polypill taking for disease prevention. Many of these studies come from the polypill inventors (and patent holders) Professor Sir Nicholas Wald and Professor Malcolm Law. This week saw the publication of another polypill study, the lead author of which is one David Wald (son of Professor Wald).

What is somewhat disappointing is just how much positive press this study has received. All it is, after all, is another in a line of studies which are simply not designed in a way to tell us what we really need to know. Maybe that’s the point.

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