A Prospective Study of Pravastatin in the Elderly at Risk (PROSPER): Screening experience and baseline characteristics

Ian Ford, Gerard Jan Blauw, Michael B. Murphy, James Shepherd, Stuart M. Cobbe, Edward L E M Bollen, Brendan M. Buckley, J. Wouter Jukema, Michael Hyland, Allan Gaw, A. Margot Lagaay, Ivan J. Perry, Peter W. Macfarlane, John Norrie, A. Edo Meinders, Brian J. Sweeney, Chris J. Packard, Rudi G J Westendorp, Cillian Twoney, David J. StottMelvyn J. Percy, Rene Belder, Christine McLaughlin, Melvyn J. Percy, David McGowan, Elizabeth Anderson, Sharon Kean, Catherine Innes, William Virgil Brown, Hans Christoph Diener, John Feely, Pieter A. van Zwieten, Stuart Pocock, Thomas Pearson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: PROSPER was designed to investigate the benefits of treatment with pravastatin in elderly patients for whom a typical doctor might consider the prescription of statin therapy to be a realistic option. Methods: The PROspective Study of Pravastatin in the Elderly at Risk (PROSPER) is a randomised, double blind, placebo-controlled trial to test the hypothesis that treatment with pravastatin (40 mg/day) will reduce the risk of coronary heart disease death, non-fatal myocardial infarction, and fatal or non-fatal stroke in elderly men and women with pre-existing vascular disease or with significant risk of developing this condition. Results: In Scotland, Ireland, and the Netherlands, 23,770 individuals were screened, and 5,804 subjects (2,804 men and 3,000 women), aged 70 to 82 years (average 75 years) and with baseline cholesterol 4.0-9.0 mmol/l, were randomised. Randomised subjects had similar distributions with respect to age, blood pressure, and body mass index when compared to the entire group of screenees, but had a higher prevalence of smoking, diabetes, hypertension, and a history of vascular disease. The average total cholesterol level at baseline was 5.4 mmol/l (men) and 6.0 mmol/l (women). Conclusions: Compared with previous prevention trials of cholesterol-lowering drugs, the PROSPER cohort is significantly older and for the first time includes a majority of women. The study, having achieved its initial goal of recruiting more than 5,500 elderly high-risk men and women, aims to complete all final subject follow-up visits in the first half of 2002 with the main results being available in the fourth quarter of 2002.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8
JournalCurrent Controlled Trials in Cardiovascular Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 20 May 2002


  • Baseline characteristics
  • Clinical trial
  • Elderly
  • Pravastatin

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