Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Older adults often excluded from clinical trials

Date:
February 3, 2011
Source:
University of Michigan Health System
Summary:
Older adults are a large and growing patient population but more than half of clinical trials exclude them based on age or age-related conditions, according to a new study. It's a concern because doctors can't be certain clinical trial results apply to their older patients.

Older individuals, who constitute a rapidly growing population in the United States, account for a disproportionate share of health care utilization and cost.

Yet more than half of clinical trials exclude people based on their age or age-related conditions, according to a new study by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Clinical Scholarsฎ at the University of Michigan.

"These findings are concerning because it means that doctors cannot be confident that clinical trial results apply to their older patients," says Donna Zulman, M.D., the study's lead author and a Veterans Affairs scholar with the RWJF Clinical Scholars program at the University of Michigan Health System. "Health care providers and patients need better evidence about treatment strategies that improve the health and quality of life of seniors."

As of 2009, Americans over the age of 65 represented 12.5 percent of the U.S. population -- about one in every eight Americans -- and by 2030, that number is expected to almost double.

This population accounts for 34 percent of personal health care expenditures, with the majority of spending attributed to individuals with chronic diseases.

Yet in a review of clinical trials published in major medical journals, Zulman and her colleagues found that one in five trials excluded patients based on their age alone. Furthermore, almost half of the remaining trials excluded individuals using criteria that could disproportionately impact older adults, such as physical frailty or impaired cognition.

The study also found that trials rarely assess how treatments affect function and quality of life, outcomes that are often of great importance to older individuals.

"These practices leave health care providers in the dark when determining which treatment will best serve the needs of their patients," says Zulman.

"It is rarely appropriate to exclude people from clinical trials based on their age alone," argues Jeremy B. Sussman, M.D., a study co-author and a Veterans Affairs scholar with the RWJF Clinical Scholars program at the U-M. "This is especially true in trials investigating conditions that are common in older adults."

The study authors suggest that clinical trial evidence guiding treatment of older adults would be improved by eliminating upper age limits for study inclusion, by reducing the use of eligibility criteria that disproportionately affect older patients, and by encouraging adherence to recommended analytical methods for evaluating treatment effects by age.

"There's a critical need to ensure that research findings are relevant for our most complex and vulnerable older patients," says Zulman. "Our findings suggest a need for policy change by government agencies like the Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health to increase the representation of typical older adults in clinical trials."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Michigan Health System. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Donna Zulman et al. Examining the Evidence: A Systematic Review of the Inclusion and Analysis of Older Adults in Randomized Clinical Trials. Journal of General Internal Medicine, February 2, 2011

Cite This Page:

University of Michigan Health System. "Older adults often excluded from clinical trials." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 February 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110202143758.htm>.
University of Michigan Health System. (2011, February 3). Older adults often excluded from clinical trials. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110202143758.htm
University of Michigan Health System. "Older adults often excluded from clinical trials." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110202143758.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

AP (July 22, 2014) — Two federal appeals courts issued conflicting rulings Tuesday on the legality of the federally-run healthcare exchange that operates in 36 states. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) — The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Newsy (July 22, 2014) — Boston scientists have discovered a new way to create fully functioning human platelets using a bioreactor and human stem cells. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) — New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins