The BCS Annual Conference is the major UK conference for cardiovascular medicine and research. Much of the breakthroughs and studies being presented are funded by us. Lauren Tedaldi from our Research Communications team presents some of the highlights from day two.
Hitting the headlines
Hours before the Conference Centre doors opened on the second day, research was already hitting the radio waves. Our Associate Medical Directors Professor Jeremy Pearson and Dr Mike Knapton did countless interviews about a headline grabbing talk at the conference: Music and the Cardiovascular System from former BHF Professor Peter Sleight. The research looks at how music can be used to lower blood pressure and improve cardiovascular health and was featured in many news outlets, including Sky News, the Daily Mail and the Mirror. As part of the talk, attendees were treated to a performance from the Cardiovascular Welsh Male Voice Choir, to demonstrate the soothing effect of beautiful music.
Other research from the conference that made the headlines included research from Glasgow that is trialing a new test to identify heart attack patients most at risk of heart failure, studies from Oxford investigating if fat can actually help fight heart disease and images from Manchester that show how the heart's detailed structure changes after a heart attack.
A major focus on day two was the BHF Alliance - our free membership scheme to support the people who work with those affected by, or at the risk of developing, cardiovascular disease.
One highlight was the results of our two year pilot project to investigate if IV diuretics could be delivered safely outside of hospital by specially trained heart failure nurses, either in the person’s home or in a community setting close by.
The results showed overwhelmingly that treatment outside hospital was safe and viable and the response was positive with 100 per cent satisfaction from the people receiving the treatment and 93 per cent satisfaction from carers. The project showed that, with specialised training, nurses could safely and effectively provide intravenous diuretics for patients, largely in the comfort of their own homes.
We also announced funding of more than £900,000 to extend a ground-breaking genetic testing programme for the inherited and potentially deadly high cholesterol condition, Familial Hypercholesterolaemia (FH).
An estimated one in 200 families in the UK has the faulty gene associated with FH – the UK’s most common genetic mutation. This means as many as 320,000 people, including around 68,000 people under 18, could be affected. We know that the vast majority of these people are never diagnosed, putting them at significantly higher risk of dying young from a heart attack.
Today there is a variety of talks to close three days of exciting science, from our Associate Medical Director Dr Mike Knapton on 'Involving Patients in Research' to BHF Professor David Eisner on his research into abnormal heart rhythms and CPVT. We’ll update you tomorrow on all the best bits and coverage from the day.
In the meantime, if you want to see what’s happening live, visit our Twitter feed and follow #BCS2015.