The month of May celebrated Older Americans Month, so join us in recognizing the value of older adults in research. Read below to learn more!
Age Diversity in Clinical Research
Clinical trials are essential in helping researchers develop new treatments and potential cures for diseases. However, including older adults in research is imperative to realizing the full potential of medical treatments. Yet, despite the critical role older adults play in clinical research, the older demographic is often underrepresented due to various obstacles such as economic constraints, communication issues, and physical mobility issues that hinder their ability to participate. These obstacles can have a domino effect and lead to an inadequate understanding of drug effects, dosage levels, and efficacy amongst a group of people who are seeking these treatments the most.
As we age, our bodies undergo numerous changes that can leave us vulnerable to various health conditions. For example, older adults are at a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease and obesity than other populations. These conditions can dramatically impact an individual’s quality of life, leading to a myriad of health complications and limitations. For this reason, it’s crucial that older adults are included in research studies that seek to understand and address these issues. Especially seeing as how medications and therapy’s function varies significantly among different age groups. By increasing older adults’ participation in clinical trials, we can ultimately lead to more targeted therapies and better healthcare for all age demographics. Additionally, a single person may be managing a combination of conditions simultaneously. Thus, understanding how new drugs may interact with their current health regimen is also relevant.
All Ages Needed – One Size Does NOT Fit All
The potential dangers of not considering age diversity can be detrimental. A one-size-fits-all approach cannot be applied to a broad range of patients. As it may affect the efficacy and safety of the treatment being tested. Age influences multiple factors in our bodies, such as metabolism, metabolic rate, and organ function, all of which could affect how a drug is processed. It’s important to ensure that patients in different age categories are represented in clinical trials. It can benefit these patients as the older community is the most impacted by the disease for which treatments are being tested. Ultimately, it leads to more robust research with accurate and meaningful results that can help future generations of patients. Age-related diversity should never be overlooked when considering patient eligibility in clinical trials. Through innovative research and collaborative efforts, we can work to help increase the participation of older adults in studies.
At Arizona Clinical Trials, we are committed to increasing diversity in clinical research throughout the state. Help us make a change in public health by learning how you or a loved one can participate in local trials! Visit our website or contact us at (480) 360-4000 to learn more about current and upcoming study opportunities.