New study to assess 3 simple, cost-effective strategies to promote healthy aging

February 3, 2012

In Europe, the number of seniors aged 70 and over will increase by 40% in the next 20 years, while those aged 80 and over will more than double. Health authorities and the medical community expect a corresponding increase in the number of people suffering costly and debilitating age-related chronic diseases such as osteoporosis, arthritis, heart and lung diseases and dementia. The significant increase in the numbers of people suffering age-related chronic diseases is expected to have serious social and health-economic repercussions across Europe – unless effective prevention strategies are put in place.

A new international study announced today by the University of Zurich hopes to provide definitive evidence that three effective, affordable and safe measures can be taken to significantly reduce the burden of in the elderly. The DO-HEALTH study (VitaminD3-Omega3-Home Exercise-Healthy Ageing and Longevity Trial) will be Europe's largest healthy ageing study. It expects to provide solid evidence for the efficacy and safety of three simple preventive interventions: vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids and a simple home exercise programme.

Professor Heike Bischoff-Ferrari, Director of the Centre on Aging and Mobility of Zurich University and DO-HEALTH Principal Investigator said "Various studies have shown that vitamin D and simple targeted exercise programmes can significantly improve functional mobility and reduce falls and fractures in , even by up to 30%. As well Omega 3 provides significant health benefits to seniors. DO-HEALTH hopes to provide definitive evidence that the three interventions, alone or combined, are able to reduce the number of fractures, the functional and cognitive decline, the risk of hypertension and the risk of infections in the senior population".

Additionally, the study will measure several other important parameters, such as the severity of knee pain in patients with osteoarthritis, the ability to carry out daily life activities and the participants' general quality of life.

DO-HEALTH will start recruiting seniors in five European countries as of May 2012 and will observe more than 2,000 healthy-at-start community-dwelling seniors, aged 70 and older, for three years. Participants' follow-up will be in-person and in quarterly intervals, including yearly clinical visits. Participants will be recruited at the University of Zurich, Basel, Geneva, Toulouse, Innsbruck, Nuremberg, Coimbra and the Charité in Berlin.

Professor René Rizzoli, Board Member of the International Foundation and Head of the Division of Bone Diseases, Department of Medical Specialties, Geneva University Hospitals and Faculty of Medicine, stated, "The findings of this important new study may provide the critical evidence that will result in the implementation of simple, cost-effective strategies and medical recommendations to help tackle the growing burden of chronic diseases in Europe's senior population. must do all they can to ensure that senior citizens remain physically independent and active members of the community".

Explore further: Three steps to unbreakable bones on World Osteoporosis Day

More information: europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesA … ge=EN&guiLanguage=en

Related Stories

Three steps to unbreakable bones on World Osteoporosis Day

October 13, 2011
For this year's World Osteoporosis Day (October 20), the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) is releasing a 24-page report promoting a three-step strategy for healthy bones and strong muscles.

Landmark report reveals immense burden of osteoporotic fractures in Europe

June 15, 2011
A new report launched today by the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) in collaboration with the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industry Associations (EFPIA) reveals that the burden of fractures in Europe has ...

Nearly half of Ontario seniors do not see dentists regularly

October 27, 2011
Forty-five per cent of Ontarians 65 years and older did not see a dentist in the last year, increasing their risk of chronic diseases and a reduced quality of life , a new study by researchers at St. Michael's Hospital, Women's ...

Recommended for you

Fluid in the knee holds clues for why osteoarthritis is more common in females

June 26, 2017
Researchers have more evidence that males and females are different, this time in the fluid that helps protect the cartilage in their knee joints.

Biologics before triple therapy not cost effective for rheumatoid arthritis

May 29, 2017
Stepping up to biologic therapy when methotrexate monotherapy fails offers minimal incremental benefit over using a combination of drugs known as triple therapy, yet incurs large costs for treating rheumatoid arthritis (RA). ...

Drug for refractory psoriatic arthritis shows promise in clinical trial

May 24, 2017
In a pivotal phase-3 clinical trial led by a Stanford University School of Medicine investigator, patients with psoriatic arthritis for whom standard-of-care pharmaceutical treatments have provided no lasting relief experienced ...

Cross-species links identified for osteoarthritis

May 17, 2017
New research from the University of Liverpool, published today in the journal npj Systems Biology and Applications, has identified 'cell messages' that could help identify the early stages of osteoarthritis (OA).

Osteoarthritis could be prevented with good diet and exercise

May 12, 2017
Osteoarthritis can potentially be prevented with a good diet and regular exercise, a new expert review published in the Nature Reviews Rheumatology reports.

Rodents with trouble walking reveal potential treatment approach for most common joint disease

May 11, 2017
Maintaining the supply of a molecule that helps to nourish cartilage prevented osteoarthritis in animal models of the disease, according to a report published in Nature Communications online May 11.

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Natural Omega 3
not rated yet Feb 14, 2012
It is always good to see another article shows that Omega 3 is a must in our daily diet.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.