59 year old artist from Cornwall talks about her ‘life-changing experience’ after taking part in research

Jan Barnes had suffered a heart attack aged just 55. She was 6 stones overweight, Jan felt as if she was ‘getting old too soon’ and feared further heart episodes.
When the opportunity to be on a trial that had the potential to help her make lifestyle changes was introduced, Jan was keen to be involved. The trial would monitor Jan’s health and carry the prospect of weight loss.

The worldwide study was trialling a drug that aimed to reduce the risk of heart attacks or strokes in people who were high risk. Half of the participants would be given a placebo, a dummy medicine, after being randomly assigned by a computer. Neither the participant nor study team knew if the study drug or placebo had been given.

Jan describes her trial participation as a positive experience. Her initial concerns about the trial were clearly explained by the consultant leading the study and she describes feeling like she was in ‘safe and professional hands.’

Although Jan still isn’t aware of whether she has received the placebo or study drug, she has certainly seen some benefits. Jan has dropped 4 dress sizes, and remains very active by walking 5 miles a day with her husband and sailing a racing dinghy twice a week. Jan says

“I have regained my confidence and the joy of feeling as if I am living in the body I should be. Life feels so much better without that 6 stone.”

Steve Creely, Principal Investigator for the study at the Royal Cornwall Hospital said “We are very thankful patients like Jan can take part in trials such as this, Their participation is gratefully received and significantly helps us to further our knowledge of existing medications and their benefit to larger groups of patients. The trial in question has recruited 17,500 people for up to 6 years and aims to see if the drug involved can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease in the overweight and obese population, which is one of the main risks to long term health for these people.”

The trial has now finished recruiting new people and medical experts and participants are looking forward to seeing the final results when they are published at the end of the study.

Added on 25 June 2021, in News - Research / Research Patient News

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