Clinical trials involve human volunteers to test the safety and effectiveness of new ways to prevent, treat, and detect different medical conditions. Without clinical trials and the volunteers that participate in them, these advancements would not be possible. In the U.S., older adults over the age of 65 make up approximately 12% of the population, however they account for over 34% of the overall prescription drug use. As our bodies age, the risk for developing age-related conditions increases. Clinical trials use a diverse population of volunteers made up of all ages, races, genders, and ethnic backgrounds. Volunteering for a clinical trial when you are over the age of 60 may seem unusual, but contribution gained remains vital.
Importance of Clinical Trials and Diverse Volunteers
Every person’s body functions differently and changes with age. Our bodies don’t work the same way they did when we were younger. Some functions slow, impacting how treatments are responded to and absorbed. Over time, our body becomes more susceptible to developing conditions like heart disease, vision changes, diabetes, and others. That same susceptibility is why clinical trial volunteers are needed from the same age group to get the most accurate representation.
Also, memory issues become more common since our brains get a little smaller in the aging process. This affects the ability to remember instructions and follow the doctor’s regimen. Not all trials have an intervention, like a medication. They can also be observational to improve the therapeutic approach to improve compliance, for example, investigate a device such as a knee replacement or another type.
Benefits of Participating in Clinical Research
Advancing healthcare for older adults is one of the benefits of participating in clinical trials, but there are so many more. After all the kids are gone, and you finally retire from the job you held for so many years, many seniors wonder how they can still contribute and be useful. Volunteering for clinical trials can help because you are helping future generations. You also learn more about your condition and prioritize your health while under the clinical trial medical team’s expert care.
Participating also potentially gives you access to potential new therapies before they are made public that may work as well or better than current options. Many trials also offer reimbursement for time and travel for qualified participants.
Seniors facing elevated risk levels for health issues may be a fact, but you can help change how these conditions are managed. To learn how you can get involved in the clinical trials here at Endeavor Clinical Trials, call (210) 949-0807 or visit our enrolling clinical trials page on our website.