Observational research

The primary purpose of large-scale trials is to test hypotheses without potential confounding that limits the interpretation of the results of observational prospective cohort studies so often. However, data from a large-scale trial can also be used for observational research. In the Alpha Omega Trial the patients were included between May 2002 and December 2006. This data can be used to study trends in cardiovascular risk management and risk factors at the population level. It is also possible to study cross-sectional and prospective associations of diet and lifestyle with risk factors and indicators of health.

Risk factors in patients after heart attack

The baseline data of the Alpha Omega Trial obtained between 2002 and 2006 can be used for different purposes. In these patients data were collected about medication, risk factors, diet, lifestyle and health. Patients groups e.g. patients after heart attack who also have or do not have diabetes, can be compared for different baseline variables. Between 2002 and 2006 in total 32 hospitals recruited patients for the Trial in a random order. This made it possible to study trends in e.g. medication and risk factors during this 5 year period in different groups.

Correlates of risk factors and mental health

Baseline information on diet, lifestyle and family history can be related to risk factors and indicators of health. This can be done cross-sectionally by relating variables that were measured at the same time e.g. alcohol intake and blood lipids. However, in samples of the patient population the baseline variables were repeatedly collected after 20 and 40 months of follow-up. This provided the possibility to study associations prospectively e.g. physical activity and depressive symptoms during 40 months of follow-up. When at least two measurements are available it is also possible to correlate changes in e.g. physical activity with changes in depressive symptoms.