DO-HEALTH study meets recruitment target, begins baseline assessment

Europe’s largest healthy ageing study will seek evidence for three simple and low-cost strategies to prevent or delay chronic disease and prolong healthy life expectancy in seniors.

DO-HEALTH, a unique three-year European study of healthy ageing, has met its recruitment target of 2158 community dwelling seniors aged 70 years and over. The seniors are enrolled in DO-HEALTH study centres in Basel, Geneva, Zurich, Berlin, Innsbruck, Coimbra, and Toulouse.

At their annual meeting held on February 5, 2015, the coordinator and partners of the DO-HEALTH study provided an update on the Study’s progress and discussed the various challenges faced in the different centres.  Reports were given by DO-HEALTH Coordinator and Principal Investigator Prof. Heike Bischoff-Ferrari, Chair and Professor of Geriatrics and Aging Research at the University of Zurich, as well as by representatives of the study sites. Invited speakers included Head Biostatistician DO-HEALTH, Prof. John E. Orav of the Harvard School of Public Health who discussed the first baseline data; Prof. Bess Dawson-Hughes, Director of the Bone Metabolism Laboratory at the Jean Mayer US Dept. of Agriculture Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University; and Prof. John A. Kanis, President of the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF).

Professor Heike Bischoff-Ferrari stated,

We’re celebrating an important milestone - all the centers have achieved their target recruitment. As well, the recruitment ratio of 40% seniors with a fall history versus 60% non-fallers has been met globally. Now we’re very excited to be analyzing the first baseline data.”

DO-HEALTH is the first large multi-centre clinical trial to study the health impact of a simple home exercise programme, vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids on the health and longevity of  the senior population. The data will also provide insights on how seniors differ in health across Europe, on differences between men and women, and between those with a history of falling and non-fallers.

Professor John Kanis, IOF President, commented,

Meeting the ambitious recruitment target is a major achievement. The challenges for the future will of course be to see the completion of the study. Already at this stage a lot of background analysis can be done to give the DO-HEALTH study more traction. This study is set to make a significant contribution to the development of affordable and universally accessible strategies in the fight against age-related chronic diseases. IOF congratulates the DO-HEALTH centres for their dedication to this  important study.”

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DO-HEALTH (VitaminD3-Omega3-Home Exercise-Healthy Aging and Longevity Trial) is a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled multicenter trial which will study more than 2000 healthy-at-start community dwelling seniors aged 70 and older. DO-HEALTH will test the efficacy and safety of three preventive interventions: vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids and a simple home exercise program. The study is funded by the European Commission, within the European 7th Framework Program for Research and Technological Development, as well as through the University of Zurich and industry partners of DO-HEALTH. To learn more, visit the DO-HEALTH website

3rd DO-HEALTH Partner's Meeting