Elderly Patients Excluded From Clinical Trials

A recent study from the University of Michigan found that more than 20 percent of clinical trials excluded participants above a certain age, while others eliminated people for having illnesses, cognitive impairment, physical disabilities, and living in a nursing home. The research highlights the shortage of studies focused on the elderly and the difficulty caused by treating older adults using data gathered from clinical trials of the general population. Only 26 percent of the 109 trials reviewed by the researchers examined outcomes relevant to older adults. Dr. Donna Zulman, the study’s lead author, said clinical trials can be difficult and even more so with patients suffering from multiple health problems. Still, Zulman said studies should be performed on the population that will receive the treatment in the real world, especially if the drug will be used by older, frailer adults. More here.

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