Thank you to everyone who has taken part in Research.
Here are some of the findings that show the difference you have made…
Study Website: http://www.integrateproject.org.uk/the-project/
Academic papers:A Fully Integrated Real-Time Detection, Diagnosis, and Control of Community Diarrheal Disease Clusters and Outbreaks (the INTEGRATE Project): Protocol for an Enhanced Surveillance System
An Ontology to Improve Transparency in Case Definition and Increase Case Finding of Infectious Intestinal Disease: Database Study in English General Practice
Primary care use of a C-Reactive Protein (CRP) test to help target antibiotic prescribing with acute exacerbations of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).
Key message: A simple blood test in GP surgeries can help ensure we only prescribe antibiotics for people living with COPD who really need them.
Youtube results animation: PACE COPD animation
Academic paper: C-Reactive Protein Testing to Guide Antibiotic Prescribing for COPD Exacerbations
FAST (gout) Study – Results
For many years, a medicine called allopurinol has been the mainstay of gout treatment. A newer medicine, called febuxostat, was introduced to Europe in 2008.
The initial clinical trials of febuxostat confirmed that it was very effective at controlling gout. However, there was an unexpected finding: some of the results suggested that the drug might be slightly less safe than allopurinol in terms of risk of heart attack and stroke.
It was essential to investigate this further. The FAST study (Febuxostat vs Allopurinol Streamlined Trial) was designed to compare the risk of heart disease and stroke in people with gout treated with either febuxostat or allopurinol.
The study was run by MEMO Research, University of Dundee, and led by Professor Tom MacDonald.
The first FAST participants joined the study in 2011. Recruitment continued until the end of January 2018. The study team followed up participants until the end of 2019. The study team analysed the final data over the Summer of 2020.
6,128 people with gout, aged 60 and over, took part in the FAST study. The average age of participants at study entry was 71 years, and 85% were men. We recruited participants in the UK, Denmark, and Sweden. Everyone who took part was taking allopurinol before joining the trial.
A third of the participants had been diagnosed with cardiovascular diseases such as angina, heart attack, or stroke before entering the trial. On average, participants took their study medication (either allopurinol or febuxostat) for 3.6 years.
All study participants were randomly assigned to take: Febuxostat (either 80 mg or 120 mg per day) OR Allopurinol (between 100mg & 900 mg per day).
Febuxostat was not associated with a higher risk of heart attack, stroke, or death from a cardiovascular cause. Importantly, this study did not find any evidence of a higher risk of death with febuxostat.
The lead investigator, Professor Tom MacDonald (MEMO Research, University of Dundee), has recorded a summary of the findings which can be viewed here – https://youtu.be/-h0WTDoprbw.
The results of the FAST study are very reassuring. Doctors and patients benefit when there is more than one treatment to choose from because allopurinol does not suit everyone.
The FAST study results suggest that febuxostat remains a safe and effective option for treating gout.
Professor MacDonald presented the FAST study results at a meeting of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) in November 2020.
The results were also published in The Lancet medical journal – https://www.thelancet.com/pdfs/journals/lancet/PIIS0140-6736(20)32234-0.pdf
There have also been several press releases and interviews with the FAST study investigators:
- University of Dundee press release
- Professor MacDonald discussing the results of FAST with TOUCH Immunology
- Professor MacDonald explaining to TOUCH Immunology how the FAST results compare to the results of a previous study, called CARES
We are inviting FAST participants to help us learn more by taking part in a simple questionnaire study. This long-term follow-up study is called FASTER (FAST Extended Review).
You can find out more about FASTER by clicking on the following link:
We are still planning the FASTER study, which should start in 4-5 years. You can register your interest above.
Thank you again for your ongoing support for FAST and In advance for our new FASTER study.