Clinical trials targeting aging and age-related multimorbidity

Mark A. Espeland, Eileen M. Crimmins, Brandon R. Grossardt, Jill P. Crandall, Jonathan A.L. Gelfond, Tamara B. Harris, Stephen B. Kritchevsky, Joann E. Manson, Jennifer G. Robinson, Walter A. Rocca, Marinella Temprosa, Fridtjof Thomas, Robert Wallace, Nir Barzilai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Background: There is growing interest in identifying interventions that may increase health span by targeting biological processes underlying aging. The design of efficient and rigorous clinical trials to assess these interventions requires careful consideration of eligibility criteria, outcomes, sample size, and monitoring plans. Methods: Experienced geriatrics researchers and clinical trialists collaborated to provide advice on clinical trial design. Results: Outcomes based on the accumulation and incidence of age-related chronic diseases are attractive for clinical trials targeting aging. Accumulation and incidence rates of multimorbidity outcomes were developed by selecting at-risk subsets of individuals from three large cohort studies of older individuals. These provide representative benchmark data for decisions on eligibility, duration, and assessment protocols. Monitoring rules should be sensitive to targeting aging-related, rather than disease-specific, outcomes. Conclusions: Clinical trials targeting aging are feasible, but require careful design consideration and monitoring rules.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)355-361
Number of pages7
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2017


  • Chronic diseases
  • Clinical trial design
  • Geroscience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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