• 4316 Citations
  • 30 h-Index

Research output per year

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Personal profile


Dr Witham graduated from Oxford University and worked in a number of hospitals in the south of England and Australia before discovering the delights of Scotland. He undertook his PhD in Dundee running a randomised controlled trial of exercise training for older chronic heart failure patients, before taking up post as Clinical Lecturer in Ageing and Health in 2003.

 In October 2007, he commenced an NES / CSO Clinician Scientist award, with a duration of 5 years; he completed clinical training in geriatrics and general medicine in late 2009 before taking up post as Clinical Senior Lecturer in Ageing and Health, becoming Clinical Reader in Ageing and Health in July 2013.

 Dr Witham works as an honorary consultant geriatrician with NHS Tayside, undertaking community geriatrics work, general older people’s outpatients and helps to run the Dundee Memory Clinic service. He is a member of the Health Services and Population research Committee (Chief Scientist Office, Scottish Government) and contributes to the Scottish polypharmacy guideline working group.


Pleiotropic interventions to improve the health of older people:

Multimorbidity is the norm in older people, but most interventions are tested in younger people without comorbid disease, who take few other medications. Conducting trials in typical frail older people is therefore critical if we are to build the evidence base we need to treat older people, and this forms a major focus of work in our department. Recent trials have included extensive work on the cardiovascular effects of vitamin D in different populations, the effects of exercise training in older heart failure patients, interventions for muscle weakness in older people, and a large, ongoing trial of bicarbonate for older patients with advanced CKD.

Finding interventions with multiple beneficial effects in older people (e.g. on cardiovascular disease, bone health, sarcopenia) is a key goal – such interventions could circumvent the hazard and inconvenience of polypharmacy –i.e. having to take multiple medications for each illness an older person has. By using routinely collected health, functional and social care data, we aim to find potential candidate interventions that might provide overall benefit to the health and function of older people, and use this observational data as a platform for future trials.


Dr Witham runs the third year Ageing and Health teaching and examining, and contributes to administering, marking and examining fourth year undergraduate geriatric medicine teaching. He also contributes to medical postgraduate and nursing staff teaching, and runs the Tayside StR Research training course for higher specialist medical trainee doctors. He is an associate member of the Higher Education Academy.

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy

Award Date: 1 Jan 2005

Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, University of Oxford

Award Date: 1 Jan 1995

Bachelor of Arts, University of Oxford

Award Date: 1 Jan 1992

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Research Output

Clinical and cost-effectiveness of oral sodium bicarbonate therapy for older patients with chronic kidney disease and low-grade acidosis: A pragmatic randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial

Witham, M. D., Band, M., Ahmed, A. K., Almond, M. K., Balasubramaniam, G. S., Basnayake, K., Sumukadas, D., Chan, A., Chong, H. Y., Donnan, P. T., Duncan, N., Hampson, G., Hu, M. K., Kalra, P., Kennedy, G., Kirk, A., Lamb, E., Lambie, S., Littleford, R., McNamee, P. & 13 others, Mishra, B., Mitra, S., Nicholas, J., Plews, D., Rauchhaus, P., Soiza, R. L., Stevens, P. E., Sumukadas, D., Tse, W., Warwick, G., Wilkie, M., Winnett, G. & Avenell, A., 9 Apr 2020, In : Health Technology Assessment. 18, 16 p., 91 (2020).

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
  • 18 Downloads (Pure)

    Development and external validation of an acute kidney injury risk score for use in the general population

    Bell, S., James, M. T., Farmer, C. K. T., Tan, Z., De Souza, N. & Witham, M., Jun 2020, In : Clinical Kidney Journal. 13, 3, p. 402-412 11 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Effect of allopurinol on phosphocreatine recovery and muscle function in older people with impaired physical function: a randomised controlled trial

    Witham, M. D., Clarke, C. L., Hutcheon, A., Gingles, C., Gandy, S., Priba, L., Nicholas, R. S., Cavin, I., Sumukadas, D., Struthers, A. D. & George, J., 21 Apr 2020, In : Age and Ageing. 8 p., afaa061.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 14 Downloads (Pure)

    Effect of Angiotensin System Inhibitors on Physical Performance in Older People - A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

    Caulfield, L., Heslop, P., Walesby, K. E., Sumukadas, D., Sayer, A. A. & Witham, M. D., 26 Aug 2020, In : Journal of the American Medical Directors Association. 9 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

    Open Access
  • Open Access
  • 29 Downloads (Pure)


    • 7 Participation in conference
    • 2 Editorial activity
    • 1 Participation in workshop, seminar, course

    Scottish Society of Physicians

    Miles D. Witham (Invited speaker)

    19 Sep 2014

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

    Heart Failure Society of America 2014

    Miles D. Witham (Invited speaker)

    14 Sep 2014

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

    Journal of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh (Journal)

    Miles D. Witham (Editor)


    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditorial activity

    RCPE International Geriatric Medicine Course

    Miles D. Witham (Member of programme committee)

    26 May 201430 May 2014

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

    European Renal Association conference

    Miles D. Witham (Invited speaker)

    31 May 2014

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference