6 Reasons Why People with Heart Conditions Should Volunteer for Medical Research

According to the American Heart Association, in 2015, 41.5% of the U.S. population had some form of cardiovascular disease. This is expected to increase to 45.1% by 2035. The number of people with coronary heart disease, congestive heart failure, stroke, and atrial fibrillation are expected to increase by more than 40% each during the same time frame.

Reason 1—Many of those with a heart condition are taking prescription medications to manage that condition.These can affect how the body processes other types of drugs. People with heart conditions also may react to drugs differently or may need different dosages than those with healthy hearts.

Reason 2—There also exists a high correlation between heart conditions and other conditions which also may require medications, such as diabetes, depression, kidney disease, and arthritis. Taking medications for more than one condition must be carefully managed due to how the drugs may interact with each other.

For example, beta blockers are often used for people who have had a heart attack. This may not be the best option, though, for those who have Alzheimer’s or dementia. One study found that about one-third of those who were prescribed beta blockers in nearly 11,000 nursing home residents aged 65 and older who had survived a heart attack had higher odds of “reduced ability to perform daily functions independently.”

Reason 3—Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the majority of those with diagnosed heart disease—59.1%—are ages 65 and older.  Treatments and medications for illnesses and conditions that occur only or primarily among older adults, such as Alzheimer’s, dementia, and osteoporosis, and diseases and conditions that occur across ages but that act differently—such as arthritis and diabetes—must be researched and studied for each age group in order to ensure the treatments and medications that are developed work as expected.

Older adults also “carry 60% of the national disease burden but represent only 32% of patients in phase II and III clinical trials. Clinical trial participation of older adults is also low in research on Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, epilepsy, incontinence, and cardiovascular disease,” all which affect the older population more heavily than younger adults, according to an article published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) at the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

Reason 4—This can work in reverse as well, as some medications designed to treat other conditions may have negative affects on the heart. Per the article ‘Heart failure induced by non-cardiac drugs‘, published in the U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, “some drugs have the propensity to adversely affect haemodynamic mechanisms in patients with an already existing heart condition.” Anti-cancer agents, immunomodulating drugs, antidiabetic drugs, antimigraine drugs, appetite suppressants, tricyclic antidepressants, antipsychotic, antiparkinsonian, glucocorticoids, and antifungal drugs all may adversely affect the heart.

These medications need to be tested to ensure that the effective treatment of one condition does not cause the negative impact on another. Some diabetes meds cause fluid retention and weight gain in people with heart failure, and make people who don’t have heart failure more likely to have it; and others seem to send people with heart failure to the hospital. “…The approval of new diabetes therapies for agents that have already been shown to be effective in lowering hemoglobin A1C currently requires very large and expensive safety trials designed to rule out cardiovascular risk by
excluding a specific hazard,” per the article The Future of Clinical Trials in Cardiovascular Medicine, written by Scott D. Solomon, MD and Marc A. Pfeffer, MD, PhD, as published by the American Heart Association.

Reason 5Even over-the-counter medications can interfere with heart conditions. NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs used for pain relief) boost heart failure odds because they cause the body to retain water and salt, which makes it harder for blood to flow. Cold medicines,
decongestants, and even some vitamin and natural supplements also increase risks.

Reason 6—We need you! Per the National Institutes of Health (NIH), “groundbreaking scientific advances in the present and the past were possible only because of participation of volunteers, both healthy and those with an chronic conditions, in clinical research…As research opens new doors to
finding ways to diagnose, prevent, treat, or cure disease and disability, clinical trial participation is essential to help us find the answers.” By volunteering, those with heart conditions can help improve the health and quality of life of many others.

Meridien Research conducts a wide variety of clinical research studies at our six Central Florida clinics and needs you! For more information or to see if you or someone you know may qualify to participate, please contact us today at 1-888-777-8839 or visit NewStudyInfo.com.