Public Release: 

DO-HEALTH a multi-center clinical trial on healthy ageing achieves first milestone

Large European study seeks to provide evidence for the effectiveness of vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids and physical activity in chronic disease prevention to improve quality of life in seniors

International Osteoporosis Foundation

Nyon, Switzerland (September 9, 2013) - Europe's largest healthy ageing study - DO-HEALTH - which aims to provide evidence for the safety of three simple preventive interventions: vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids and a simple home exercise programme, has recruited 532 of its target 2,000 seniors. In Europe, the number of seniors aged 70 and over will increase by 40 per cent in the next 20 years, and those aged 80 and above will more than double. If action to ensure people age healthily is not taken, not only will it impact their quality of life but it will result in a huge economic burden on health systems in the future.

This is the first large European multi-centre clinical trial which seeks to provide evidence for effective, affordable, and well-tolerated strategies that prevent or delay chronic disease at older age and prolong healthy life expectancy. "We are pleased to announce that the DO-HEALTH study is on track and on target in achieving the 25% recruitment milestone," announced Professor Heike Bischoff-Ferrari, Director of the Centre on Aging and Mobility of Zurich University and DO-HEALTH Principal Investigator.

The seven participating DO-HEALTH study centres in Switzerland, Austria, France, Germany, Portugal and Switzerland are recruiting participants who are 70 years or older, mobile and living independently at home, to take part in the three-year study. Five of the centres are above their targets with 26 to 36% of participants already recruited.

As the European population rapidly ages, age-related chronic diseases in seniors have become a central concern. Chronic diseases prevent millions of seniors from leading longer, more active and independent lives while placing a heavy burden on health care systems and society as a whole.

Among the most promising affordable strategies to promote healthy ageing are vitamin D, marine omega-3 fatty acids and physical exercise. However, their individual and combined effects have yet to be confirmed in a large clinical trial. DO-HEALTH will investigate the impact of these simple strategies in the prevention of chronic disease at older age and will study their role in the prevention of fractures and falls, functional decline, high blood pressure, cognitive decline and pain from osteoarthritis.

International Osteoporosis Foundation CEO, Judy Stenmark stated "Chronic diseases are by far the leading cause of mortality in the world, imposing an enormous burden on patients, their families and on society as a whole. With its ageing population, Europe will have to deal with a dramatic increase in chronic diseases in the next decade therefore, studies such as DO-HEALTH are essential in helping us to better understand and control the disease burden."

She continued, "DO-HEALTH is set to make a vital contribution to the development of low-cost, universally accessible strategies in the fight against age-related chronic diseases. IOF congratulates the DO-HEALTH centres for their dedication to this important study."



DO-HEALTH (VitaminD3-Omega3-Home Exercise-Healthy Aging and Longevity Trial) is a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled multicenter trial which will study 2000 healthy-at-start community dwelling seniors aged 70 and older. DO-HEALTH will test the efficacy and safety of three preventive interventions: vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids and a simple home exercise program. The study is funded by the European Commission, within the European 7th Framework Program for Research and Technological Development, as well as through private sponsors that are co-funding the trial.

Participating in the DO-HEALTH study:

DO-HEALTH study centres at Universities in Zurich, Basel, Geneva, Toulouse, Innsbruck, Coimbra, and Berlin are calling for the participation of 2152 men and women, aged 70 years or older, mobile and living independently at home. Find out how you can participate at

About International Osteoporosis Foundation:

The International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) is the communications partner of the DO-HEALTH study. It is the world's largest nongovernmental organization dedicated to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis and related musculoskeletal diseases. IOF members, including committees of scientific researchers, leading companies, as well as more than 200 patient, medical and research societies, work together to make bone, joint and muscle health a worldwide heath care priority.;;

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