On this World Population Day, we are highlighting the health issues facing our global society and how we are tackling these issues through clinical trials, providing hope for a better future.
World Population Day is organised by the United Nations1 and aims to raise awareness of the urgency and importance of the issues facing the global population. According to the UN, the average lifespan of adults in the developed world has increased since the mid-1900s with the number of people reaching the age of 100 never being as high as it is today.
As our population grows older, it becomes imperative to address their healthcare needs. In this blog, we want to focus specifically on how lung conditions such as Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) are affecting older members of society.
Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) is a chronic and progressive lung disease characterised by the scarring of lung tissue. It primarily affects older adults and restricts their ability to breathe, leading to severe respiratory distress and reduced quality of life. The British Thoracic Society2 estimates that 30,000 people in the UK live with IPF and the treatment options for the condition remain limited.
Similarly, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) encompasses a group of lung conditions, such as chronic bronchitis and emphysema, which progressively impairs lung function. According to The NHS3, in the UK, 1.2 million people are living with COPD.
Both IPF and COPD pose significant challenges to the ageing population, limiting their daily activities and reducing overall wellbeing.
Clinical trials serve as vital platforms for medical advancements, evaluating new treatments, therapies, and interventions. For individuals living with IPF and COPD, these trials hold immense potential to enhance their lives in several ways:
- Accessing potential new treatments – For example, participants in these trials will have access to innovative potential new treatments that typically are not yet be available to the general population. By participating in these trials, those living with IPF and COPD can contribute to medical research while receiving cutting-edge treatments that could potentially improve their condition and quality of life.
- Relieving Pressures on the NHS – Through clinical trials, there is hope that these potential new treatments could provide more effective medications to relieve the symptoms of these conditions thus relieving pressures facing the NHS. According to the British Medical Journal4, there are nearly 9000 hospital admissions every year for IPF. Meanwhile according to NHS reports5, COPD causes 115,000 emergency hospital admissions each year.
As we commemorate World Population Day, it is crucial to recognise the pressing healthcare needs of the ageing population, particularly those affected by IPF and COPD. Clinical trials offer hope by unlocking new treatment avenues and relieving pressures facing our public health services.
By actively participating in these trials, individuals with IPF and COPD can contribute to medical advancements, whilst potentially improving their own quality of life.
MAC Clinical Research are looking for volunteers with COPD or IPF aged 40+ to take part in their latest paid clinical research, which aims to improve the quality of life for those living with these debilitating conditions.
The clinical trials are running at several MAC Clinical Research clinics, primarily across the north of England. Eligible participants for the trials will receive reimbursement for their time and commitment to the trial, plus reasonable travel expenses will be paid, or transport provided, as well as a full medical check-up.
1 World Population Day – United Nations Website
2 British Thoracic Society – BTS ILD Registry Annual Report 2020: a summary of the UK IPF Registry for the general public