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Statins to be studied for prevention of dementia, disability and heart disease 

Nov. 17, 2020, 9:46 AM

Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) researchers are enrolling adults aged 75 and over to study whether taking atorvastatin, a drug commonly used to lower cholesterol also called Lipitor, can help maintain health by preventing dementia, disability, and heart disease.

Amanda Mixon, MD

 The PREVENTABLE (Pragmatic Evaluation of Events and Benefits of Lipid-Lowering in Older Adults) study is one of the largest trials ever conducted in older adults and will include more than 20,000 participants and 100 sites across the U.S.  

 Participants will be followed for up to five years using electronic health records, Medicare data, and telephone study visits 

The study drug will be shipped directly to participants’ homes every three months.  

 “Few studies have focused exclusively on individuals aged 75 or older,” said VUMC principal investigator Amanda Mixon, MD, assistant professor of Medicine in the Division of General Internal Medicine and Public Health 

 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, she said.  

 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 PREVENTABLE principal investigator Karen Alexander, MD, a geriatric cardiologist at Duke University Medical Center. “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.  

For more information, contact VUMC study coordinator Ashley Ehlert at (615) 875-7964 or 

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