Could Taking Statins Prevent Dementia, Disability?

The National Institute on Aging (NIA) has funded a major study to examine the overall benefits and risks of cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins in adults age 75 or older without cardiovascular disease. The trial, called Pragmatic Evaluation of Events and Benefits of Lipid-Lowering in Older Adults (PREVENTABLE), will help determine whether a statin can help prevent dementia and disability in this age group, as well as heart attacks and other cardiovascular-related deaths, while not increasing risks of adverse health outcomes. The investigators plan to enroll 20,000 participants free from clinically evident cardiovascular disease or other indication for a statin for secondary prevention. This primary prevention cohort will be randomly assigned to take either the statin atorvastatin or a placebo daily for up to five years. Enrollment is planned to begin Sept. 1. The study is funded by the NIA and NHLBI and is led by Karen P. Alexander, MD, FACC, and Adrian F. Hernandez, MD, at the Duke Clinical Research Institute; Walter Ambrosius, MD, and Jeff D. Williamson, MD, at Wake Forest School of Medicine; and with support from Vanderbilt University (Recruitment) and Mayo Clinic (Biorepository). Read more. For more information about PREVENTABLE, click here.