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Candidates sought for a study to improve lung treatment

Candidates sought for a study to improve lung treatment for elderly


Clinicians at the Auckland District Health Board’s Department of Respiratory Medicine are recruiting participants in a study to improve lung treatment for elderly patients and build a computer model of an ageing lung.

Over a two year period, the study which involves the Department of Respiratory Medicine and the Bioengineering Department at Auckland University will focus on being able to better distinguish between normal aging lungs and diseased lungs using standard lung function tests or CT scans. This is important because the process of normal aging mimics changes seen in lung diseases such as emphysema, making accurate diagnoses difficult.

The study hopes to recruit 100 participants who are in the 50 -100 year old age range, with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 25 -30. They should be never –smokers; not have lung disease and no history of exposure to dusts, chemicals or drugs which may cause lung disease.

Suitable candidates will undergo lung function tests, a CT scan and a blood test. The data collected will be used to assess the changes in structure and function of the lung with age. The data will also be used by the department of bioengineering at Auckland University to build a mathematical model of the ageing lung. This study has been approved by the Northern Regional Ethics Committee and the Maori Ethics Committee. It has been funded by the Green Lane Research and Education Fund / Health Research Council.

All samples will remain within New Zealand and participants have the option of having the blood sample returned to them at the end of testing or it will be incinerated. Maori concerns about storage of body tissue including blood will be respected and participants are encouraged to discuss their participation with their whanau /family beforehand.

The main goal of the study is to reduce unnecessary investigation of normal signs of aging in the elderly and the wrong prescription of medicine to the same. Participants are free to withdraw from the study at any practicable time without any disadvantage and will have their privacy protected throughout.

To be a part of this study and gain more information, please contact Dr Clair King at ClairK@adhb.govt.nz .

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