Sections
You are here: Home BHF Centre of Research Excellence Researchers Sir Richard Peto

Sir Richard Peto FRS

Professor of Medical Statistics & Epidemiology and Co-Director of the Clinical Trial Service Unit
Clinical epidemiology

Divisional Research Themes

  • Clinical Epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Science
  • Cancer and Haematology

Cardiovascular subthemes

Web Personal Website
Email
Tel 01865 743801
PA Ms Cathy Harwood
Email (PA)
Tel (PA) 01865 743743
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
College Green Templeton College
Sir Richard Peto

Prof Sir Richard Peto

Professor Peto's work has included studies of the causes of cancer in general, and of the effects of smoking in particular, and the establishment of large-scale randomised trials of the treatment of heart disease, stroke, cancer and a variety of other diseases. He has been instrumental in introducing combined 'meta-analyses' of results from related trials that achieve uniquely reliable assessment of treatment effects.
Professor Peto is statistician for 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 vitamin supplementation in people at increased risk of heart disease. 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) where there was uncertainty as to how worthwhile, and safe, are these treatments. The patients were given simvastatin and/or vitamins. Compliance with the study treatments was good, resulting in large average reductions in blood levels of total cholesterol. After 3 years, neither treatment involves significant excesses of side effects or biochemical abnormalities. The study thus provides reliable evidence about the effects of these cholesterol-lowering treatments and antioxidant vitamin supplements on mortality and major morbidity in a wide range of circumstances.
Professor Peto also works on Mortality from smoking in developed countries.

Biography

Professor of Medical Statistics & Epidemiology at the University of Oxford. In 1975, he set up the CTSU, of which he and Rory Collins are now co-directors. Professor Peto's work has included studies of the causes of cancer in general, and of the effects of smoking in particular, and the establishment of large-scale randomised trials of the treatment of heart disease, stroke, cancer and a variety of other diseases. He has been instrumental in introducing combined 'meta-analyses' of results from related trials that achieve uniquely reliable assessment of treatment effects. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of London in 1989, and was knighted (for services to epidemiology and to cancer prevention) in 1999.