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UTHSC Seeks Minority Participants for New Aspirin Study


The Department of Preventive Medicine at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) seeks 200 minority participants for a study on aspirin.

The Department of Preventive Medicine at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) seeks 200 minority participants for a study on aspirin. The study, referred to as ASPREE (ASPirin in Reducing Events in the Elderly), is sponsored by the National Institute on Aging, a subsidiary of the National Institutes of Health. The research will assess whether aspirin can not only prolong life, but support a life free of physical disability and/or dementia for healthy, older people.

Aspirin may help older individuals to live well longer by delaying the onset of illnesses. In fact, previous studies indicate that low dose aspirin reduces the risk of heart attacks, strokes and vascular events in middle-aged people. Low dose aspirin may also assist with preventing cognitive decline and specific forms of cancer such as bowel cancer. While aspirin can thwart cardiovascular attacks and strokes in individuals with established heart disease, the effect of aspirin for elderly people without a history of cardiovascular disease is less certain and will be determined by this research.

ASPREE is being conducted in cities across our nation, as well as globally. The study will enroll a total of 6,500 healthy citizens age 65 and older in the United States and another 12,500 in Australia. Since enrollment goals for Caucasian Americans have been met, only minority citizens are eligible to participate currently. In Memphis, study coordinators will recruit 200 minorities of African-American, Asian or Latino descent.

“The ASPREE trial may provide important information regarding the benefits and risks of aspirin, a low cost, easily available medication for older, healthy individuals,” says Suzanne Satterfield, MD, DPH, associate professor in the UTHSC Department of Preventive Medicine and principal investigator for the Memphis study. Participants in the study will be randomly assigned to take either a low dose aspirin or placebo (a pill containing no medicine) daily for about five years. Study pills and medical exams are being provided free of charge. Patients will receive initial reports on specific health markers, including their functional and cognitive ability. Any changes will be monitored throughout the study. Once enrolled, participants will be seen annually.

To participate in the study, interested minority citizens are asked to call the UTHSC Department of Preventive Medicine at 901-448-8400.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH), the nation’s medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.