The landmark ASPREE (ASPirin in Reducing Events in the Elderly) study is investigating whether a daily low dose of aspirin can potentially delay or prevent the onset of common age-related diseases, such as heart attack, certain types of stroke, dementia and certain cancers, in healthy people aged 70 and over.
Principal Investigator for ASPREE, Professor John McNeil, from the Monash Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, said the study is extremely relevant for Australia’s ageing population.
“This is an impressive milestone for Australian clinical research. Aspirin is one of the most widely used medications in the world and frequently prescribed to people who have already suffered a heart attack or some forms of stroke,” Professor McNeil said.
“The ASPREE study is a world first as it focuses entirely on the health of our older population – those who are 70 and over. ASPREE investigators recognise that aspirin has wide ranging potential health benefits, but also that it has side effects, such as increased bleeding, that may offset its benefits. The ASPREE study will determine once and for all if the benefits of aspirin outweigh the risks.”
Australian actor and Logie award winner Terry Norris is one of ASPREE’s 10,000 participants. Mr Norris became involved knowing his participation, and the results of the study, will benefit the ongoing health and wellbeing of all Australians and future generations around the world.
“Most seniors wonder whether or not to take aspirin on a regular basis. ASPREE is undertaking pioneering research that will answer that question. ASPREE’s research will better the health of future generations around the world,” Mr Norris said.
ASPREE aims to reach a total of 19,000 enrolments in the trial – 16,000 from Australia and 3000 from the United States. Researchers are now calling for participants in Victoria, Tasmania, the ACT, regional NSW and Adelaide. Most participants enrol in the study through their General Practitioner.
Over 2000 GPs are registered co-investigators to the study, making it the largest GP-based clinical trial ever undertaken in Australia.
ASPREE, led by researchers from Monash University, is a collaborative effort involving the Menzies Institute, the University of Tasmania, the University of Melbourne, Australian National University, the University of Adelaide and the Berman Centre for Outcomes & Clinical Research at the University of Minnesota in the US.
The ASPREE study is being funded by the US National Institute on Aging, with funding support also received from the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and the Victorian Cancer Agency (VCA).
Early results of the ASPREE study should be known by 2018.
To be involved in the study speak to your GP or call ASPREE directly on 1800 728 745 (toll free from a landline) or visit the ASPREE website.