The University of Newcastle and Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI) in Australia seek participants in the Cessnock and the Hunter to consider participating in the STAREE trial—a government-funded, community-based clinical trial. Participants must be over 70 and seek to contribute to the mission to ultimately beat heart disease as well as Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia ailments.
Collaboration with Monash University & Others
University of Newcastle and HMRI are collaborating with Australia’s Monash University and other institutions to conduct this study involving 10,000 Australians. Already 500 have signed up in the Hunter.
The STAREE Trial
Sponsored by Monash University, the STAREE trial includes collaborators from the National Health and Medical Research Council and National Heart Foundation Australia.
Although statin therapy evidences benefits to reduce risk of vascular events in younger individuals with heart disease, data derived from meta-analyses of existing clinical trials reveals that the efficacy of statins may decline among those over 70. Due to challenges to secure study participation of this age group, it is suggested that the benefit of statin therapy in this age group may be offset by adverse effects including myopathy, development of diabetes, cancer and cognitive impairment—all which in fact are more prevalent in the elderly.
The STAREE trial was funded to determine whether taking a daily statin therapy (40 mg atorvastatin) will extend the length of a disability-free life, determined from survival outside permanent residential care, in healthy participants aged 70 years and above.
Study participants are randomized and given either study medication or placebo and thereafter monitored for about five years via biannual phone calls and an annual catch. Phone support is available along the way.
Clinical Research Coordinator on the Ground in the Hunter Region of Australia
The University of Newcastle and Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI) have already signed up 500 participants and are recruiting for the ongoing study. Rachel Wilkes, the STAREE trial clinical research coordinator for University of Newcastle, reported to the Cessnock Advertiser that “we are looking to determine if a commonly prescribed heart medication (statins) is able to prolong or prevent the onset of chronic disease, namely heart disease and dementia/Alzheimer’s in healthy 70-plus age group.”
Traditionally those over 70 are difficult to enroll in clinical studies, Ms. Wilkes noted.
The Research Sites Highlight: MHRI
With 1,500 medical researchers, students and support staff, Hunter Medial Research Institute (HMRI), located in Newcastle, New South Wales, enables the translation of world-class medical research into clinical practice with a goal to prevent, cure and treat illnesses and diseases impacting lives worldwide. It was founded in 1998 through a partnership between the University of Newcastle and the Hunter New England Local Health District. Disease focus areas include Brain and Mental Health, Cancer, Cardiovascular, Pregnancy and Reproduction, Public Health, Viruses, Infections/Immunity, Vaccines and Asthma.
Sophia Zoungas, MBBS, FRACP, Monash University
Call to Action: TrialSite News has many readers in Australia. f you are in Australia, have a loved one over 70, and are interested in learning more, we include the link for the Principal Investigator—additionally, you can sign up for our Daily Digest for updates.