Divisional Research Themes
- Clinical Epidemiology
- Cardiovascular Science
|Contact address||Clinical Trial Service Unit, Richard Doll Building, Old Road Campus, Roosevelt Drive, Oxford, OX3 7LF, United Kingdom|
|Department||Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine|
Jane Armitage coordinates SEARCH, ASCEND, and the Heart Protection Study.
The "statin" drugs lower blood cholesterol powerfully and prevent heart attacks. But their use is limited because of the uncertainty about their overall effects on long-term survival. The Heart Protection Study is the largest trial in the world of cholesterol-lowering therapy and antioxidant vitamins. 20,536 individuals were randomised in various prior disease (coronary or other occlusive arterial disease, diabetes, hypertension) or other categories (women, elderly, those with "low" cholesterol levels), and were given simvastatin or vitamins. After 3 years, neither treatment involves significant excesses of side-effects or biochemical abnormalities. The study thus provides evidence about the effects of these treatments on mortality and morbidity.
SEARCH is the Study of the Effectiveness of Additional Reductions in Cholesterol and Homocysteine. This trial aims to demonstrate whether a larger reduction in cholesterol produces worthwhile further reductions in CHD. The effects of lowering homocysteine with folic acid will also be assessed.
ASCEND is A Study of Cardiovascular Events iN Diabetes. Diabetes increases the risks of heart attacks or strokes. Aspirin, known to reduce the risk of these complications in people with circulatory problems, has not been shown to be beneficial in individuals with diabetes who do not have vascular disease, and few use it routinely. The ASCEND trial studies the effects of aspirin and of omega-3 fatty acids in diabetes. If favourable results emerge, a widespread use of these treatments in diabetes might avoid many thousands of heart attacks and strokes.
Jane Armitage is a Professor of Clinical Trials and Epidemiology and Honorary Consultant in Public Health Medicine at the University of Oxford. She joined the Clinical Trial Service Unit (CTSU) in 1990 from a background in clinical medicine, with particular experience in respiratory medicine, geriatrics and diabetes. She co-ordinates a series of large-scale clinical trials and her main research interests are in lipids and cardiovascular epidemiology.