The HOPE-3 trial, sponsored by the Population Health Research Institute, was led by principal investigator McMaster University. Heart disease and stroke are major causes of death and disability worldwide and are largely preventable. Cholesterol and blood pressure are major cardiovascular risk factors. Previous studies have shown certain drugs can effectively and safely lower cholesterol and blood pressure and prevent heart attacks and strokes. Such studies have been conducted primarily in people who had already sustained a heart attack or a stroke, or in people with high cholesterol and blood pressure levels. However, most heart attacks and strokes occur in people with average (“normal”) cholesterol and blood pressure. In the HOPE-3 trial, the investigators evaluated whether a cholesterol lowering drug, rosuvastatin, and a combination blood pressure lowering pill, candesartan/hydrochlorothiazide, used alone or together would reduce the risk of heart attacks, stroke and their sequelae in people without known heart disease and at average risk.
Recent results revealed the following:
HOPE-3 found no cognitive benefits of blood pressure and/or cholesterol-lowering drugs in people over 70.
Treatment did slow decline among participants with the highest cholesterol and blood pressure
Counters claims that statins cause cognitive decline
Salim Yusuf, DPhil, FRCPC
Eva Lonn, MD, MSc FRCPC