To the individual who wants to stay active and independent at older age, to the society who will increasingly depend on the productivity of the senior population, and to health care providers who are challenged by the marked increase in age-related chronic diseases.
To address this concern, effective, affordable, and well-tolerated strategies that prevent or delay chronic disease at older age and prolong healthy life expectancy are urgently needed. These strategies, if proven effective, will have an outstanding impact at the individual, economic, and public health level.
Among the most promising strategies that meet these requirements are vitamin D, marine omega-3 fatty acids and physical exercise. However, their individual and combined effects have yet to be confirmed in a large clinical trial.
DO-HEALTH will close this knowledge gap in a large multi-centre clinical trial that will define the role of vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids and a simple home exercise program in extending healthy life expectancy and improving quality of life in European seniors.
What is DO-HEALTH?
DO-HEALTH is a clinical trial designed to
- To support healthy aging in European seniors
- To establish whether vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, and a simple home exercise program will prevent disease at older age and thereby prolong healthy life expectancy
To achieve these aims, DO-HEALTH will enroll 2152 community-dwelling men and women who are 70 years and older, an age when chronic diseases increase substantially. The DO-HEALTH seniors will be recruited from 7 European cities (Zurich, Basel, Geneva, Toulouse, Berlin, Innsbruck and Coimbra) and will be randomized in a 2x2x2 factorial design trial to a simple home exercise program and/or vitamin D, and/or omega-3 fatty acids, over a 3 year period. This will allow to test the benefit of the interventions in the prevention of 5 primary endpoints: the risk of incident non-vertebral fractures; the risk of functional decline; the risk of blood pressure increase; the risk of cognitive decline; and the rate of any infection. Key secondary endpoints include risk of hip fracture, rate of falls, pain in symptomatic knee osteoarthritis, gastro-intestinal symptoms, mental and oral health, quality of life, and life-expectancy. DO-HEALTH seniors will be followed for 3 years, in-person, and in 3-monthly intervals (4 clinical visits and 9 phone calls) at the 7 recruitment centers.
Where do we stand today?
DO-HEALTH started in December 2012, and by November 22nd 2014, DO-HEALTH has recruited 2141 seniors age 70+. DO-HEALTH is unique to date, and defines the most comprehensively assessed and largest cohort of community-dwelling seniors in Europe. DO-HEALTH will be ongoing till 2017.