Professor Christopher Reid is a cardiovascular epidemiologist with appointments as Research Professor in both the School of Public Health at Curtin University in Perth and the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University in Melbourne. He is Director of the Monash Centre of Cardiovascular Research and Education in Therapeutics and the NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Cardiovascular Outcomes Improvement (2016-2020). He holds a National Health and Medical Research Council Senior Research Fellowship in addition to being the Chief Investigator on an NHMRC Program Grant (2016-2020) focusing on cardiovascular disease prevention. His major research interests include clinical outcome registries, randomised controlled trials, and epidemiological cohort studies. He has been Study Director for the 2nd Australian National Blood Pressure (ANBP2) Study and currently a Chief Investigator for the Aspirin in Reducing Events in the Elderly (ASPREE) Study, the Statins in Reducing Events in the elderly Trial and the Australian arms of the HOPE-3, REACH and CLARIFY Registries. He is a Principal Investigator for the Victorian Cardiac Procedures Registry Project, the Melbourne Interventional Group (MIG) registry, and the ANZSCTS National Cardiac Surgical Registry. He has over 300 peer-reviewed publications, many of which are in leading journals including the New England Journal of Medicine, Lancet, JACC and the BMJ. He participates as a WHO consultant for prevention of cardiovascular disease in Mongolia, Vietnam and the West Pacific region.
HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors are a widely used class of lipid-lowering medications know as statins. Statins have been the subject of rigorous evaluation in the clinical trial area for their potential to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease – particularly heart attaches and strokes. There is a very strong evidence base to support the use of statins treatment for the secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease and in high risk individuals with hypercholesterolaemia, however their role in primary prevention remains somewhat controversial due to the potential adverse effects associated with treatment. This is of particular concern in older people where the risk benefit balance is of major concern in relation to not only clinical outcomes but also to quality of life. The current public debate on the role of statins will be discussed along with the overview of an Australian led large scale randomised trial designed to address the role of statin treatment for primary prevention in the elderly.