Making history in research

Surgeons performing an early heart transplant

Because of the advances in science your donations have helped fund, the lives of millions of people with heart disease have been transformed. 

Many people are alive today thanks to research we've funded and even more have a better quality of life because of it.

How we've helped

Most babies born today with heart defects now survive. Pacemakers help people control their heart conditions. Statins are lowering cholesterol levels for millions, reducing risk of heart attack and stroke. 

Heart attack treatment has been revolutionised. And many inherited conditions can now be diagnosed and successfully treated preventing sudden death. 

A small handful of these research achievements we've contributed to are included below.

Changing the way heart attacks are treated

We've been involved in some of the biggest advances in heart attack treatment and care, from the discovery of clot-busting drugs and the effectiveness of stains to the way patients are cared for in hospital.

Pioneering techniques

A woman preparing to undergo an MRI scan

We've brought pioneering techniques to hospitals - from scans that look right inside the heart, to tests like angioplasty which are now routine.

Transplant technology

Patients with severe heart failure can now hope for a heart transplant.

Survival for children

The number of children who survive being born with a heart defect has turned around - in 1961, only 20 per cent lived to their first birthday. The number of children dying has fallen by more than 80 per cent in the last three decades thanks to procedures such as valve replacement that help them lead improved lives.

Exploring genetics

We're getting to the bottom of the genetics of dangerous inherited heart conditions like hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

Controlling cholesterol

We've found that high cholesterol can run in families and been a major part of the development of statins to help people control their cholesterol.

Family fortunes

Huge scientific studies have proved that heart disease runs in families - and what you can do to help your family if it does. Read more about the family history of heart disease.

Extending life

Assorted tablets in a person's hand

Our research has helped develop medicines that help extend life for heart failure patients, and with the money we raise for our Mending Broken Hearts Appeal we will fund research that will help us rebuild hearts.

Safety in numbers

Our work has helped make heart surgery safer, lead to innovative transplant techniques and is working on ways to make recovery quicker and easier.

Reducing the burden

Our scientists helped transform pacemakers from a heavy bulky device into one that could fit inside the chest, with no exposed wires. And we're still working on improvements - as well as research that could mean less people need to be fitted with a pacemaker at all.

Saving from sudden death

When people are suddenly struck down, seemingly in their prime, it can be very difficult to deal with. Our research into Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome has helped pioneer technology like ICD implants, which can help restore the irregular heartbeat that often precedes this syndrome.

Funding future research breakthroughs

For all our success, there's a lot more still to be done. Coronary heart disease is still the UK's single biggest killer. Over half a million people in the UK are living with heart failure.

Surgery techniques can still be improved. Many babies still struggle with a congenital heart defect. And there are exciting developments in genetics and stem cell technology yet to be found, which could revolutionise the treatment of many heart conditions.

With your support we're continuing to fund research that will hopefully make the difference for millions of people in the UK and many more around the world. You can help us keep making breakthroughs by donating today.