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Research into heart diseases

We fund research into heart diseases and have done so for more than fifty years. The progress we've made has helped save millions of lives, but there's more work to do. 

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What are heart diseases and what causes them?

Heart diseases are a range of conditions that stop your heart from working properly and pumping blood effectively around your body. There are dozens of different heart diseases from abnormal heart rhythms, cardiac arrests, heart attacks and inherited heart conditions. We know more than ever about their shared risk factors, such as diabetes, and we’re focused on finding ways to prevent them from developing into other circulatory conditions like stroke or vascular dementia. You can read in more detail about specific heart conditions here.

The difference we've made so far

Our research into heart diseases spanning seven decades has helped make major breakthroughs. Research has invented machines to restart hearts, fix arteries in newborn babies, build tiny devices to correct heartbeats, and give someone a heart they weren’t born with. Stents. Clot busting drugs. Life saving operations. None of them would exist without the power of research. With your support, imagine what’s next.

Donate to our research today

We keep going for babies like Lorenzo

Lorenzo was born with only one side of his heart working. He is alive thanks to multiple heart surgeries but his future remains uncertain. Babies like Lorenzo are relying on research to help them survive.

Using tick saliva to treat a deadly heart condition

According to one recent research project we funded, proteins found in tick saliva could be used to treat a dangerous type of heart disease which can cause sudden cardiac death in young adults.

Myocarditis happens when the heart muscle becomes inflamed and is often the result of an infection by common viruses. During myocarditis, chemicals called chemokines are released in the heart and they attract cells that cause inflammation.

Around 30% of people with myocarditis go on to develop dilated cardiomyopathy and heart failure, which in severe cases can lead to the person needing a heart transplant.

However, researchers from the University of Oxford Medical Sciences Division have identified a protein within tick saliva which can bind to and neutralise several chemokines, and may be able to prevent this dangerous inflammation.

This research project is just one of hundreds we fund each year to help protect the people you love.
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