A clinical trial testing if intensive treatment of a heart attack benefits older people

The older patients Randomised Interventional Trial in Acute non-st elevation myocardial infarction:the SENIOR-RITA trial

Vijay Kunadian (lead researcher)

Newcastle upon Tyne, University of

Start date: 04 January 2016 (Duration 5 years)

Dr Vijay Kunadian and her colleagues at the University of Newcastle are finding out if older, frailer patients could benefit from a procedure to restore blood supply to the heart muscle following a heart attack.

As people live longer, more elderly people are living with coronary heart disease, and some will have a type of heart attack called a ‘non ST elevation myocardial infarction’, or NSTEMI. This is where there is a blockage in one of the smaller arteries that supply the heart, or a part blockage in one of the major arteries. Patients are offered a procedure to restore the blood supply to the heart muscle, either an angioplasty to open the blocked heart arteries with a balloon and a stent, or coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG). But although older and frailer patients are more likely to die following a heart attack, they are often not offered angioplasty or CABG procedures because of potential complications. Dr Kunadian thinks these procedures might help older patients.

In this project, Dr Kunadian and her team will conduct a clinical trial in over 2,000 patients 75 years or older from across the UK who have had an NSTEMI heart attack. They will be randomly split into two groups. One group will have blood supply restored to the heart muscle using a balloon and stent or with surgery alongside medication and the other group will be given medication only. Dr Kunadian will measure clinical outcomes, such as complications of the procedure, survival and quality of life in people taking part.

This study will provide clear guidance on how to treat high-risk frail older patients presenting with NSTEMI heart attack, and could have a significant impact on their health and wellbeing.

Project details

Grant amount £1,705,737
Grant type Clinical Study
Start Date 04 January 2016
Duration 5 years
Reference CS/15/7/31679
Status In progress

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