This study was published in the Lancet 2002 Nov 23;360(9346):1623-30
Study title and authors:
Pravastatin in elderly individuals at risk of vascular disease (PROSPER): a randomised controlled trial.
Shepherd J, Blauw GJ, Murphy MB, Bollen EL, Buckley BM, Cobbe SM, Ford I, Gaw A, Hyland M, Jukema JW, Kamper AM, Macfarlane PW, Meinders AE, Norrie J, Packard CJ, Perry IJ, Stott DJ, Sweeney BJ, Twomey C, Westendorp RG; PROSPER study group. PROspective Study of Pravastatin in the Elderly at Risk.
University Department of Pathological Biochemistry, University of Glasgow, Royal Infirmary, Scotland, Glasgow, UK. firstname.lastname@example.org
This study can be accessed at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12457784
The aim of the trial was to ascertain the effects of pravastatin treatment in elderly men and women aged 70-82. The study involved 2,804 men and 3,000 women (total 5804) with a history of, or risk factors for, vascular disease. They were assigned into groups of either a statin (pravastatin) or placebo and the study lasted for just over 3 years. Total deaths and adverse events of heart attack, stroke, cancer etc were measured.
The results of the study revealed:
(a) Total serious adverse events were the same in both groups.
(b) Heart disease was 19% higher in the placebo group.
(c) Stroke risk was 3% higher in the pravastatin group.
(c) Cancer risk was 25% higher in the pravastatin group.
(d) Total death rates were 6% higher in the pravastatin group.
The results show that 3 years of statin treatment did not add one day to the life of the participants of the trial.