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Home > News > Events, Conferences, Workshops and Observances > World-renowned Epidemiologist Sir Nicholas Wald: "Polypill and the Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease" Print

World-renowned Epidemiologist Sir Nicholas Wald: "Polypill and the Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease"

Sir Nicholas Wald seated at desk
Photo courtesy of University of
London’s Queen Mary college

Sir Nicholas Wald has received
worldwide acclaim as the creator
of the polypill concept, in
addition to his work in the area
of neonatal and antenatal
screening.

The Polypill and the Primary Prevention
of Cardiovascular Disease

Sir Nicholas Wald

Wednesday, March 24, 2010
10:30 a.m.

Stone House (Building 16)
NIH Campus, Bethesda, Maryland

World-renowned Epidemiologist Sir Nicholas Wald, director of the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine at University of London's Queen Mary college, has received worldwide acclaim for developing the polypill, an innovative approach combining several heart disease and high blood pressure medications that taken together could potentially reduce cardiovascular disease by 80 percent. The British Medical Journal called the 2003 polypill research the most important work it published in 50 years. Studies of different polypills are now ongoing in many countries.

Also known for his numerous achievements in the area of neonatal and antenatal screening, Wald was the first to demonstrate that neural tube defects could be detected by measuring proteins in the mother's blood. The earliest example of screening for fetal abnormalities, this method is still routinely used around the world. In addition, he showed that women taking folic acid in the period from before conception through early pregnancy had a 75 percent reduction in babies with neural tube defects. These findings led to recommendations that all women intending to become mothers take folic acid supplements, as well as foods being fortified with folic acid.

Wald received the Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Foundation award for scientific research in 2000 and was knighted in 2008 for his work in the field of preventive medicine.

The lecture was sponsored by Fogarty and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI).