Clinic recognised for work on medical study

A WARRNAMBOOL health clinic has been recognised for its participation in a medical study that could have implications for the treatment and prevention of disease worldwide.

The Warrnambool Medical Clinic was recognised by the organisers of the ASPREE (ASPirin in Reducing Events in the Elderly) for their extensive involvement in the five-year study into the health benefits of aspirin. 

The Monash University study hopes to shed some light on whether taking aspirin can prevent or stop diseases common to the elderly such as heart attacks, dementia, certain types of strokes, some forms of cancer and whether it helps maintain good health in people aged over 70. 

About 16,000 Australians will eventually be involved in the five-year study. 

There is another 3000 participants in America – half taking aspirin daily and the rest a placebo with yearly health checks.

The ASPREE regional director for the area Mark Johnstone said he was excited that clinics such as the Warrnambool Medical Clinic were involved in the study.  “We are very appreciative that participants and GPs in the south-west community have embraced this very important public good study,” Mr Johnstone said. “We have around 450 people in the region on the study, with around 75 coming from this clinic alone.” 

The study has been running for about 18 months at some clinics and after three years, an interim report on findings will be compiled. 

Senior Warrnambool Medical Clinic general practitioner Dr John Philpot said he was excited that a study of this size and calibre had allowed the clinic to be involved.

“We’ve never participated in a research study like this before in general practice and it is good that general practice can be involved in medical research which used to be mainly based in hospitals,” Dr Philpot said. 

“It’s a different group of patients out there that can participate in research now, not just a group of people that have been in hospital for a host of illnesses.

“It’s really looking at the healthy population and seeing how we can keep them healthier for longer.”

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