A drug used to lower cholesterol could prevent dementia, disability, and heart disease among those 75 and older.
That’s the basis of a new study DHR Health Institute for Research and Development and DHR Health announced Monday. DHR announced in the news release that enrollment is now open for a new clinical trial called PREVENTABLE. The study will investigate whether taking atorvastatin, a drug commonly used to lower cholesterol also called Lipitor®, can help adults aged 75 and over maintain health by preventing dementia, disability, and heart disease.
According to the news release, the study aims to be one of the largest ever conducted in older adults. It will include more than 20,000 participants without heart disease or dementia and 100 sites across the country. The participants will receive either atorvastatin or a placebo and researchers will follow participants for up to five years and test their memory, thinking, physical abilities, and monitor them for events such as heart attacks or strokes.
“It is a pragmatic study, designed to make research participation easy and efficient,” the release stated
Researchers will follow participants using electronic health records, Medicare data, and with study visits over the telephone. Study drug will be shipped directly to participants’ homes every three months.
“PREVENTABLE is a remarkable study for a number of reasons,” Sohail Rao, MD, MA, DPhil, President and CEO, DHR Health Institute for Research and Development said in a statement. “Few studies have focused exclusively on individuals aged 75 or older. While statins have been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular events for some patients, PREVENTABLE will help us to learn whether they are helpful for older adults without heart disease.”
About one in three people in the U.S. over the age of 75 without heart disease are taking statins. So in addition to learning whether statins can prolong health in older adults, the PREVENTABLE study will help clarify which older adults should not be taking statins.
“Patients often ask me what they can do to stay healthy and prevent dementia.” said Karen Alexander, MD, a geriatric cardiologist at Duke University Medical Center and principal investigator for PREVENTABLE. “This study will help to clarify the benefit of statins for this population. This is important to do before adding one more medication to the list of medicines older adults are often already taking. Results from this study will help us provide valuable answers to improve how we age.”
PREVENTABLE is funded by the National Institute of Aging and the National Heart, Lung, & Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health under award number U19AG065188. To learn more about PREVENTABLE, visit www.preventabletrial.org. To find out who can take part in the study, or for more information, please contact 956-362-2391 or email [email protected]