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Become involved in the STAREE study

Interested in learning more about the trial and how you can become involved? We are currently recruiting participants all across Australia so register your interest with the STAREE study today!

Information for participants

What is the goal of the STAREE study?

Who is eligible to take part in STAREE?

What will happen if you join the study?

How can I become involved?

Which statin is being used?

What dosage will I be given?

Are there any risks with taking atorvastatin?

Where do I get the study medication?

Will I know if I am in the statin or placebo group?

Where do I have to go to attend study visits?

Will STAREE replace my usual GP?

Can I leave the study after it has begun?

What happens when the STAREE study is over?

Who is funding the STAREE study?


For Participants

What is the goal of the STAREE study?

As people age, their health and quality of life may be affected by frailty, memory decline and chronic diseases such as heart disease and stroke. Unfortunately, some older people will eventually develop some level of disability that results in a loss of independence and the need for residential care. The aim of the STAREE study is to investigate whether a cholesterol lowering medication, known as a statin, can prolong good health and maintain independence amongst older people in the community.

Who is eligible to take part in STAREE?

You may be eligible to take part in the STAREE study if you:

  • Are 70 years of age or over,
  • Live independently in the community,
  • Are not currently taking any cholesterol lowering medication, and
  • Do not have a history of cardiovascular disease, stroke or diabetes

What will happen if you join the study?

If you would like to participate in this study, you will be invited to attend a visit with STAREE staff at either your General Practice clinic, local study centre or over the phone.

At this first visit, you will have an opportunity to:

  • Ask STAREE staff any questions you have about the study,
  • Provide your informed consent to participate in the study
  • Discuss your medical history and current medication use with STAREE staff,
  • Fill in some questionnaires, and
  • Take some basic measurements (height, blood pressure etc.)

Once you have consented to participate in the study, you will be asked to:

  • Take a daily tablet for 4 weeks,
  • Complete some pathology tests (blood and urine samples), and
  • Attend an appointment with your GP to ensure they are happy for you to participate

After 4 weeks you will attend a second visit with STAREE staff where we will:

  • Check that you were able to take the 4 weeks of medication,
  • Complete some further questionnaires and thinking tasks, and
  • Check your pathology results

You will then be required to attend annual study visits, for an average of 5 years (some participants may be in for a shorter time, some may be a longer time).We will ask you to complete questionnaires about your physical ability, perform some thinking tasks and have some physical measurements taken such as blood pressure and heart rate.

How can I become involved?

If you are interested in becoming involved please register your interest here. Alternatively, please call us on 1800 770 664. One of our STAREE staff members will ask you a few questions to determine if you are eligible to participate.

Which statin is being used?

The statin selected for this trial is Atorvastatin (known under the trade name Lipitor or Atorva). Atorvastatin was selected as it is the most commonly prescribed statin in Australia and has fewer side effects than other statins.

What dosage will I be given?

Your dosage of study medication will commence at 20mg and, for most participants, will increase to 40mg over the first month. This is considered a moderate dose.  Participants are encouraged to contact STAREE throughout the trial if they wish to adjust their dosage.

Are there any risks with taking atorvastatin?

Atorvastatin, like all medications, has the potential to cause adverse effects in some people. Side effects can range in duration and severity.

The most commonly reported side effects of atorvastatin occur in 1-10% of patients and can include:

  • Headache,
  • Muscle pain,
  • Constipation,
  • Nausea,
  • Increased blood sugar.

Please contact STAREE if you have any questions regarding potential side effects.

Where do I get the study medication?

All study medication is provided by STAREE, free of charge, and delivered to your address. You will not need to attend your GP clinic or pharmacy to obtain the medication.

Will I know if I am in the statin or placebo group?

The STAREE study is a randomised double-blind study which ensures that no one knows which group (placebo or statin) a participant belongs to. This includes all STAREE investigators and staff, participants, and participants’ GPs. This ensures that the study results are a true representation of the effects of statins and that there is no bias in the results. Once the study has concluded, participants and their GPs will be notified of which medication they were taking.

Where do I have to go to attend study visits?

Participants in this study will need to travel to their local GP clinic to attend the study visits.

Please note: Due to the current COVID-19 situation, participants in some states will be asked to complete appointments over the phone instead of face-to-face.

Will STAREE replace my usual GP?

No. Your usual GP will remain your primary care provider throughout the course of the trial while STAREE will only attend directly to any concerns regarding the study itself. Please contact your GP if you have any issues or concerns regarding your health throughout the course of the trial.

Can I leave the study after it has begun?

Yes, participation in the trial is voluntary and you may choose to change your involvement at any time. If your circumstances change, or you need to cease medication at any time throughout the trial please contact the trial to discuss the different levels of participation that may allow you to continue to contribute to the study.

Please contact STAREE for further details.

What happens when the STAREE study is over?

The results of STAREE will be carefully analysed and reported in a number of ways including publication in scientific and medical literature, presentation at conferences, and incorporation into guidelines for clinical practice.

After STAREE is completed, the researchers will make the results available to any participants who have indicated that they would like to know the trial outcomes.

Who is funding the STAREE study?

100% of STAREE’s funding comes from research grants from the National Health and Medical Research Council and the Heart Foundation . The study is not funded by the pharmaceutical industry.


If you have any further questions about the STAREE study, please contact our trial team on 1800 770 664.

How to become involved

Register your interestCome to two visits at the start of trial See your GP Take study medication every day