The Particulars: Researchers believe that fixed-dose combination therapy for cardiovascular disease could improve the control of risk factors by enhancing medication adherence. Evidence, however, is lacking in the testing of this hypothesis.

Data Breakdown: For a study, 2,004 patients were randomized to combination therapy with aspirin 75 mg, simvastatin 40 mg, lisinopril 10 mg, and atenolol 50 mg or to usual care. After 15 months, 86% of patients were adherent to the combination, compared with 65% of usual care patients. Patients receiving combination therapy had an average systolic blood pressure (BP) of 129.2 mm Hg and an average LDL cholesterol level of 2.18 mmol/L. This compared favorably to usual care patients, who averaged a systolic BP of 131.7 mm Hg and an LDL cholesterol level of 2.29 mmol/L.

Take Home Pearls: A fixed-dosed combination tablet containing aspirin, a statin, and two antihypertensive agents appears to improve treatment adherence when compared with usual care. In addition, the combination drug was shown to significantly reduce LDL cholesterol and BP.