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A polypill containing quarter doses of four hypertension drugs is more effective than any of the drugs individually, a new study shows.

The combination of thia-zide diuretic, ?-blocker, ACE inhibitor and calcium channel blocker reduced risk factors for arterial stiffness and lowered systolic blood pressure, according to the research.

The study followed on from similar research published last year showing another polypill could cut heart disease by 80 per cent if prescribed to everyone over 55.

Study author Professor John Feely, professor of pharmacology and therapeutics at Trinity College, Dublin, said: 'A low-dose polypill in hypertension may be more effective in reducing arterial stiffness in hypertension compared with monotherapy in full dose.'

The researchers found the polypill reduced pulse wave velocity, a risk factor for arterial stiffness, significantly more than any one of the four drugs alone. It also achieved lower systolic blood pressures, although the differences with monotherapy were not significant.

The study was presented at the British Hypertension Society's annual scientific conference earlier this month.

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