The PILL pilot trial (1)

You read about medical trials but this is the first time that I’ve had any personal involvement in one. This morning, together with my wife, I spent an hour and a half at the International Centre for Circulatory Health at St Mary’s Hospital at Paddington in London being considered for participation in a pilot trial which will lead on to a long-term clinical trial.
The research study is of the efficacy of a combination medication called the “polypill” – which contains aspirin, a statin, and two blood pressure lowering medicines – compared to a placebo in treating people at raised risk of cardiovascular disease such as as heart attack or stroke. Rather neatly, the trial is called PILL which stands for Programme to Improve Life and Longevity.
We were asked not to eat or drink anything for the 12 hours prior to our 10.30 am appointment. Following an explanation of the trial and signing of a consent form, I was asked lots of questions about my health and lifestyle and then my blood pressure was taken three times, a blood sample was taken, my height and weight were measured, and my body mass index was calculated.
If I’m found to be too healthy, I won’t be included in the 12-week trial; if I’m found to be too much at risk, I won’t be included either; if I’m found to have a modestly increased level of risk (my mother had a stroke at 69), I will be included.
Some more information here.