The Advertiser

Checking status of statins for elderly

- GRANT McARTHUR

THOUSANDS of elderly Australian­s will be given daily doses of a cholestero­l-busting drug to see if it can become their fountain of youth.

In the world’s largest medical trial of its kind, Monash University will determine whether a daily dose of statins can help older people live longer, healthier lives.

The trial of more than 10,000 Australian­s aged over 70 will examine whether the cheap and most commonly prescribed drugs in Australia can also maintain their independen­ce and prevent heart attack, dementia and disability.

With controvers­ial concerns about the impact of statins on muscle, memory, risk of diabetes, Professor Sophia Zoungas said the study aimed to study the balance of benefits and risks of the medication.

Over five years, half the participan­ts will take statins daily while the others get a placebo, with each undergoing monitoring to test their physical and cognitive health.

Anyone over 70 wanting to take part can call 1800 770 664 or visit www.staree.org.au/

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