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A Trial of Tap Water Treatment in the Elderly

This study has been completed.
Information provided by:
National Institute on Aging (NIA) Identifier:
First received: April 15, 2003
Last updated: December 9, 2009
Last verified: November 2006

This study is being conducted in Sonoma County, California.

Gastrointestinal illness and diarrhea are recognized as a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in the elderly. One study showed that 51% of deaths caused by diarrhea over a 9-year period occurred in individuals over the age of 74 years. Although many infectious diseases are more problematic in the elderly because of a decline in immune function and a higher incidence of pre-existing malnutrition and dehydration, it is still not known what the principal modes of transmission are and which infectious agents are responsible.

The principal objective of this study is to evaluate the ability of in-home treatment of tapwater to reduce gastrointestinal illness in non-institutionalized elderly individuals. The trial will test household-level treatment of drinking water by joint use of ultraviolet light and filtration devices. A secondary objective is an estimate of the incidence of specific bacterial, viral, and protozoan agents in stool specimens collected from elderly individuals with gastrointestinal symptoms that might be related to water consumption.

Condition Intervention
Diarrhea Gastrointestinal Diseases Device: home drinking water treatment device

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Crossover Assignment
Masking: Double
Primary Purpose: Prevention
Official Title: A Randomized Trial of Tap Water Treatment in the Elderly

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by National Institute on Aging (NIA):

Estimated Enrollment: 810
Study Start Date: January 2000
Study Completion Date: November 2006
Primary Completion Date: November 2006 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
  Show Detailed Description


Ages Eligible for Study:   55 Years and older   (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria

  • 55 years or older
  • primary source of drinking water used at home is supplied by Sonoma County Water Agency without use of home filtration device or bottled water
  • all individuals living in the home must sign informed consent and agree to have the water treatment device installed
  • no known immunocompromising conditions (including HIV/AIDS, active cancer, or transplant recipients).

Exclusion criteria:

  • persons with immunocompromising condition (including HIV/AIDS, active cancer, or transplant recipients)
  • employees and family members of the Sonoma County Water Agency or a Sonoma County Water District
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00058942

United States, California
University of California Berkeley
Berkeley, California, United States, 94720
Sponsors and Collaborators
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Principal Investigator: John M. Colford, M.D., Ph.D. School of Public Health, University of California at Berkeley
  More Information