Goal 1: Promote Human Health


Prevention trials, implemented to reduce or delay progression to overt disease in a population at risk to the disease, are an important approach to health promotion.

Therapies shown to reduce disease severity in patients with a specific disease are obvious, but not the only, candidates for a prevention trial in populations at high risk for prevalent diseases (such as heart failure, diabetes, COPD, asthma in children).

These trials clearly require access to public funding. Commercial companies cannot be expected to support prevention trials, unless they are evaluating a therapy they have developed specifically to prevent or slow a disease process. This approach is clearly within the NHLBI (NIH) mandate.

Tags (Keywords associated with the idea)

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? : Critical Challenge (CC)

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

The impact of implementing such trials is considerable. They will clearly address an important component of NHLBI’s mission with respect to effectiveness of therapies and behavioral interventions, and it has minimal and clearly definable overlap with commercial trials of specific therapeutic products. It will also provide an important public health focus – preventing disease or reducing the impact of disease processes, thus potentially reducing chronic care costs and increasing years of useful life.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

The biggest challenge in designing and implementing prevention trials is identifying the target, “at risk” population most likely to develop the clinical disease from known biomarkers or early signs/symptoms. Increasing availability of large, population-based registries or databases maintained for other purposes provides a very cost-efficient mechanism to electronically screen and identify “at risk” individuals. The same mechanism may also facilitate implementation of pragmatic, electronically managed, cost efficient trials.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Sonja McKinlay other Team Members: Susan Assmann and Paul Stark


7 net votes
10 up votes
3 down votes
Idea No. 891