05 May 2013

Major grant awarded to research ways to prevent heart failure

Researchers at HYMS and the University of Hull have won a grant for nearly £600,000 to identify new ways of predicting which patients are at risk of heart failure – and to help find treatments to prevent it.

The grant, made by the European Commission under the FP7 Programme, is worth £580,480 to the Department of Cardiology over the next six years. This is the latest in a series of major grants from the European Commission to the department for research into heart failure - one of Britain's most common and dangerous diseases – which together are worth approximately £1.5 million.

Hull's Department of Cardiology joins a Consortium led by Professor Faiez Zannad of Inserm, University of Lorraine, and the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire (University Hospital Centre), Nancy, France, that will carry out this research. Partner organisations (19 universities, hospitals and research organisations) come from nine European countries and the United States of America.

The HOMAGE (Heart OMics in AGEing) project, which takes 'an ounce of prevention is worth a pound in cure' as its prime focus, will identify new blood tests that determine the risk of developing heart failure and then look for novel treatments that can be targeted specifically at those at high risk in order to prevent its development.

HYMS Foundation Chair in Cardiology Professor John Cleland (University of Hull and Honorary Consultant in Cardiology at the Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust), who is widely regarded as one of the world's leading researchers into heart failure, will lead the research.

Professor Cleland said: "Heart failure is increasingly common in the UK. About one in every 30 adults in Hull has some evidence of heart failure. In Britain, during 2011, there were almost 400,000 admissions with heart failure and about 4 million NHS bed-days were required to manage the problem.

"Rates have been rising steadily for the last decade. Managing heart failure well with modern treatments is often very successful but it is complex and there are far too few experts compared to the size of the problem.

"The aim of this research is to try to identify people at risk before they get into trouble and specifically target them with relatively simple treatments that family doctors can easily use to prevent or at least delay the onset of heart failure."