‘Heart-in-a-dish’ to study the effects of coronavirus Source: British Heart Foundation

August 6, 2020

Source: British Heart Foundation  

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Date of publication:  18 June 2020

Publication type: Research

In a nutshell:  BHF-funded researchers are using stem cell ‘heart-in-a-dish’ technology – originally created to explore potential treatments for heart failure – to help understand how and why coronavirus (Covid-19) impacts the heart.

Length of publication:  1 webpage

Some important notes: Please contact your local NHS library if you cannot access the full text. Follow this link to find your local NHS library. https://www.hlisd.org/

Acknowledgement:   https://www.bhf.org.uk/


Could a chip the size of a pen tip help hearts beat better?

April 21, 2020

Source: British Heart Foundation

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 Date of publication:  April 2020

 Publication type: News

In a nutshell:    Researchers we fund believe that a chip that reads the body’s own breathing signals could be much more effective than a pacemaker.  Our heart, like any popular melody, has a vital pulse.

Its beat is never constant, it varies with every breath – speeding up when you inhale and slowing down when you exhale.

But for many of us, it may beat too slowly, too quickly, or irregularly. For those with heart failure, this difference in heart rate can prove deadly.

It’s why pacemakers are fitted to set a regular heart rate, easing a hearts struggle to pump blood properly.

Now, researchers believe a chip that reads the body’s own breathing signals to control one’s heart beat could be much more effective.

Length of publication:  1 webpage

Some important notes: Please contact your local NHS library if you cannot access the full text. Follow this link to find your local NHS library. https://www.hlisd.org/

Acknowledgement:   British Heart Foundation


Virtual heart map to help doctors locate artery blockages

April 21, 2020

Source: British Heart Foundation

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 Date of publication:  April 2020

 Publication type: News

In a nutshell:    Currently, when a patient has a cardiac event or sees their doctor to complain of chest pain, they will often be sent for an angiogram – an X-ray used to examine blood vessels that can show whether patients have coronary artery disease, where fatty plaques build up in the vessels supplying blood to the heart. However, because the results aren’t always clear, there can be ambiguity as to where the problem areas are and their severity.

A pressure wire test can be performed to more accurately measure the blood pressure gradient across a narrowing within the heart, and tell doctors whether a person will benefit from treatment to open the blood vessels up. However, few people receive the test as it is expensive and time-consuming.

Prof Gunn and his team have developed a computer model called virtual Fractional Flow Reserve (vFFR) that calculates the pressure measurements from pictures of the blood vessels without needing the wire. It could provide greater clinical insight for doctors when making decisions about how to treat coronary artery disease.

Using data collected from hundreds of existing angiograms, the software has been proven to be accurate as tested against real pressure wire measurements. It displays the pressure gradient in colour, a healthy blood pressure gradient being green, and a significant pressure gradient in red.

Length of publication:  1 webpage

Some important notes: Please contact your local NHS library if you cannot access the full text. Follow this link to find your local NHS library. https://www.hlisd.org/

Acknowledgement:   British Heart Foundation


Heart attack treatment: What’s the future?

April 21, 2020

Source: British Heart Foundation

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Date of publication:  April 2020

Publication type: Research

In a nutshell:  From better prediction to new treatments, BHF-funded research is taking steps to reduce the heartbreak caused by heart attacks

Length of publication:  1 webpage

Some important notes: Please contact your local NHS library if you cannot access the full text. Follow this link to find your local NHS library. https://www.hlisd.org/

Acknowledgement:   British Heart Foundation


New study could prevent future heart attacks and stroke for chest pain patients

March 5, 2020

Source: British Heart Foundation

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Date of publication: 20th January 2020

Publication type: Research/News

In a nutshell:  Doctors could better identify the warning signs of a future heart attack or stroke in patients with undiagnosed chest pain, thanks to a new study funded by us at Keele University.

Now, they have been awarded more than £200,000 for researchers for a study that will aim to determine which characteristics predict future heart attacks or stroke in patients who do not get a specific diagnosis for their chest pain.

Length of publication:  1 webpage

Some important notes: Please contact your local NHS library if you cannot access the full text. Follow this link to find your local NHS library.

Acknowledgement:  British Heart Foundation


Pacemaker study to help heart patients avoid hospital

November 19, 2019

Source: British Heart Foundation

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Date of publication: November 2019

Publication type: Research

In a nutshell: A study at The University of Manchester which will analyse heart patients’ activity levels through their pacemakers, to determine which people are at the highest risk of frailty and help them avoid long hospital stays.

Length of publication: 1 webpage

Some important notes: Please contact your local NHS library if you cannot access the full text. Follow this link to find your local NHS library.

Acknowledgement: British Heart Foundation


Increased risk of heart disease for healthy 75-year-olds who stop taking statins

August 16, 2019

Source: British Heart Foundation

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Date of publication: August 2019

Publication type: Research

In a nutshell: Statins are known to reduce the risk of further problems in patients of any age who have already suffered heart problems or stroke. However, until now it has not been clear how effective their use is in preventing such events occurring in healthy people aged 75 and over, with no previous history of cardiovascular disease.

Now, a nationwide study of 120,173 people in France, who were aged 75 between 2012 and 2014 and had been taking statins continuously for two years, has found those who stopped taking their statins had a 33% increased risk of being admitted to hospital with heart or blood vessel problems during an average follow-up period of 2.4 years.

Length of publication: 1 webpage

Some important notes: Please contact your local NHS library if you cannot access the full text. Follow this link to find your local NHS library.

Acknowledgement: British Heart Foundation


New stem cell combination could help to repair damaged hearts

August 16, 2019

Source: British Heart Foundation

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Date of publication: August 2019

Publication type: Research

In a nutshell: Researchers have found that, by transplanting an area of damaged tissue with a combination of both heart muscle cells and supportive cells taken from the outer layer of the heart wall, they may be able to help the organs recover from the damage caused by a heart attack.

Length of publication: 1 webpage

Some important notes: Please contact your local NHS library if you cannot access the full text. Follow this link to find your local NHS library.

Acknowledgement: British Heart Foundation


New cholesterol-lowering drug shows promise

May 14, 2019

Source: NHS News – Behind the Headlines

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Date of publication: March 2019

Publication type: News item

In a nutshell: A study has looked into the safety of a new treatment to lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL), commonly known as “bad” cholesterol.

High cholesterol can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, which kills about 150,000 people in the UK each year.

Researchers recruited over 2,000 people who were already taking statins to lower their cholesterol. They were split into 2 groups. One group was given the new drug, bempedoic acid, alongside their statin for 1 year. The other group was given a dummy drug (placebo).

After 3 months, those who took bempedoic acid had lowered their bad cholesterol by around 17% compared to those on the placebo. There was no difference in reported side effects between this drug and the placebo over the course of 1 year. The dropout rate because of side effects was slightly higher in the bempedoic acid group (11%) compared with the placebo group (7%).

This study adds to the research looking for new cholesterol-lowering treatments when statins either don’t work or cause undesirable side effects. However, bempedoic acid is not currently a licensed treatment. The safety of the drug needs to be confirmed before it is made available.

Length of publication: 1 webpage

Some important notes: Please contact your local NHS library if you cannot access the full text. Follow this link to find your local NHS library.

Acknowledgement:   NHS News – Behind the Headlines     

 


Potential new heart attack treatment

May 14, 2019

Source: British Heart Foundation

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Date of publication: March 2019

Publication type: Research

In a nutshell: Scientists have found a potential new drug for treating the heart damage caused by a heart attack by targeting the way the heart reacts to stress. The research team, led by BHF Professor Michael Schneider at the National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London, used stem cells to grow heart tissue and mimic a ‘heart attack in a dish’, and were able to block the chemical signals within heart muscle that lead to cell death and heart damage.

Length of publication: 1 webpage

Some important notes: Please contact your local NHS library if you cannot access the full text. Follow this link to find your local NHS library.

Acknowledgement: British Heart Foundation


Study in Birmingham could lead to better detection of people with irregular heart rhythm

February 28, 2019

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Date of publication: January 2019

Publication type: Research

In a nutshell: Research that we part-fund at the University of Birmingham could better identify people living with an undiagnosed abnormal heart rhythm. Atrial fibrillation (AF) is one of the most common forms of abnormal heart rhythm. It has been diagnosed in 1.3 million people in the UK, but it is estimated that there are hundreds of thousands of people living with undiagnosed AF in the country. It is also a major cause of stroke, as it can increase the risk of a blood clot forming inside the heart, which can then travel in the bloodstream to the brain.

An electrocardiogram (ECG) – a test that measures the electrical activity in the heart – is usually used to screen people for AF, but this is resource-intensive and can be burdensome for some patients.

Now, researchers believe some patients could be tested for AF through simple blood tests.

Length of publication: 1 webpage

Some important notes: Please contact your local NHS library if you cannot access the full text. Follow this link to find your local NHS library.

Acknowledgement:   British Heart Foundation


New research at the University of Manchester identifies two genes linked to a serious congenital heart condition

December 21, 2018

Source: British Heart Foundation

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Date of publication: November 2018

Publication type: Research

In a nutshell: Scientists at the University of Manchester have published a paper showing for the first time, the possible genetic causes of a serious congenital heart condition, Tetralogy of Fallot (ToF).

People born with ToF have four specific structural abnormalities in the heart, which mean they often have to undergo open heart surgery early in life. Many patients will have several surgeries and procedures throughout their lifetime. ToF is a very complex congenital heart condition, and in the majority of cases the cause is unknown.

Length of publication: 1 webpage

Some important notes: Please contact your local NHS library if you cannot access the full text. Follow this link to find your local NHS library.

Acknowledgement:   British Heart Foundation