Clinical Trials Ignore Seniors

According to researchers, more than half of clinical trials in the United States exclude the elderly from their studies, even though 34% of personal medical expenditures come from this group of people.

In a review of clinical trials, researchers from the University of Michigan found more than 50% of trials did not include senior citizens or people with age-related illnesses. The remaining studies also excluded frail participants and those with cognitive problems.
These findings are concerning because it means that doctors cannot be confident that clinical trial results apply to their older patients,” says Donna Zulman, M.D., the study’s lead author and a Veterans Affairs scholar with the RWJF Clinical Scholars program at the University of Michigan Health System. “Health care providers and patients need better evidence about treatment strategies that improve the health and quality of life of seniors” she told Medical News Today.Œæ
“Our findings suggest a need for policy change by government agencies like the Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health to increase the representation of typical older adults in clinical trials.”Œæ
Who knew? Wouldn’t it seem obvious that our seniors need to be part of these? Or does it go along with other studies that have suggested that physicians do not treat seniors with the same aggressiveness as younger patients. In other words, they are implying that the senior has less life to live so we will focus elsewhere. It is pervasive and we need to advocate for those most vulnerable.