If you’re aged 55-60 and have two of three risk factors – high blood pressure, high cholesterol or excessive body weight – you could participate in a national study testing whether a one-off vaccine can reduce the risk of both heart attack and stroke.
The Australian Study for the Prevention through Immunisation of Cardiovascular Events (AUSPICE) is at the midway point of its recruitment drive for 6000 men and women across six centres – Newcastle, Canberra, Melbourne and Adelaide.
Chief investigator Professor John Attia, from the University of Newcastle and John Hunter Hospital, says the study is examining a potential secondary role for the existing pneumonia vaccine.
“Laboratory evidence suggests there may be a component of the adult pneumococcal vaccine that looks like oxidized LDL, the bad cholesterol that builds up in the arteries of people with heart disease,” Professor Attia said.
“The antibodies that are generated in response to the vaccine appear to bind to and reduce the build-up of cholesterol, thereby reducing vascular disease.”
Among the many favourable comments received from participants was the following: “Thank you for the professional, thorough and caring manner in which the [staff] carried out the vaccination appointment ... It is great to take part in this study”.
If you would like to volunteer, please phone (02) 4042 0523 or visit https://auspice.apps.hmri.com.au/