ISU Headlines

ISU research results published in prestigious New England Journal of Medicine

Posted September 18, 2009

Research conducted at the Family Medicine Clinical Research Center at Idaho State University has been published in a prestigious medical journal The New England Journal of Medicine.

The ISU researchers have been involved in both the ACCORD (Action to Control Cardiovascular Risk in Diabetes) and the ONTARGET/TRANSCEND multi-center trials since 1999. The results from the landmark research trials were both published recently in the New England of Medicine, according to Rex Force, ISU Department of Family Medicine, who is ISU’s lead investigator in the programs.

The ONTARGET/TRANSCEND trial was a comparison of three different medication regimens:  telmisartan (commonly known as Micardis), ramipril (commonly known as Altace), or a combination of the two medications in patients at high risk for heart disease. The study evaluated the rates of death from heart disease or stroke while on study medication. Fifteen participants were enrolled at the ISU site. After nearly seven years of follow-up, telmisartan was found to be equally as effective as ramipril. The combination of the two drugs, however, was associated with more adverse events without an increase in benefit.

ACCORD was designed to determine if intensive blood sugar control was beneficial in older patients with type 2 diabetes. The trial also determined if aggressive blood pressure and cholesterol control in patients with diabetes would reduce the development of heart disease.  The study results indicated that intensive blood sugar control contributed to a higher death rate.  The results of the blood pressure and cholesterol portions of the study have not yet been released. The trial was concluded on June 30.

“This trial has been critical to help define the targets of blood sugar control in patients with diabetes,” Force said. “We could not have done it without the collaboration and commitment of our study volunteers and research center staff.”

The ACCORD trial was sponsored by the National Institutes of Health and consisted of 77 U.S. and Canadian clinical research centers.  The ISU site began its involvement in the trial at its outset in 1999 and eventually involved 146 participants locally. Force credits the site’s success to the excellent teamwork of Dr. Ron Solbrig from the ISU Department of Family Medicine and the ISU College of Pharmacy’s Cara Liday, Pharm.D., Eliza Borzadek, Pharm.D., and Tracy Pettinger, Pharm.D.   

Study coordinator, Mimi Macdonald, said, “Although each of us played a different role in the effort of conducting the operation of the study, it was exciting to see that we all had the ultimate goal of bringing ACCORD to a successful conclusion. I think that the commitment was conveyed to the participants as well, who sincerely worked to meet their own goals.”

The Family Medicine Clinical Research Center is presently participating in two other trials in the area of heart disease. For more information, call (208) 282-4176.