News from the second day of the ESC Congress

30 August 2015        

Couple walking outside

It was the second day of the world's largest cardiovascular research conference. Researchers from around the globe are meeting in London this year for the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Congress.

The Congress provides an opportunity for researchers and clinicians to hear about the latest in treating, diagnosing and preventing the many different heart and circulatory conditions. The results of a number of clinical trials are presented, specialist talks are given and it is also an opportunity to celebrate people who have contributed significantly to improving the lives of people with heart problems.

Walking to live longer?

A study from Saarland University in Germany suggest that exercise, like walking, may reduce ageing and help people live longer. The scientists studied molecules in the blood of a group of non-exercising but otherwise healthy people who took part in an exercise programme.

A portrait of Professor Peter Weissberg, the BHF Medical Director.Based on the measurements taken from the volunteers' blood the results suggested that regular exercise had triggered an anti-ageing process. Commenting on the findings our Medical Director, Professor Peter Weissberg, said:

"We know that regular exercise reduces our risk of cardiovascular disease. This study provides a possible mechanism for how this is achieved. Regardless of the underlying process, however, everyone should try to do 150 minutes of exercise a week to help them stay heart healthy."

Why not take ten minutes to change your life? Get active with our guide.

Heart attack survival in women

More women die after heart attack treatment than men, according to a French study presented at the conference. The researchers were studying the treatment received by victims of cardiac arrest outside of a hospital in the Greater Paris Area. Most of these cardiac arrests would have been caused by a heart attack.

They found that survival in women was lower than in men and that women were less likely to receive the same diagnostic tests and treatment as men. We know however that heart and circulatory disease is a serious issue in women. Just last week we learnt from a study we funded that almost half of all deaths in women are from a heart attack or stroke.

Our Medical Director, Professor Peter Weissberg, said: "This study was carried out in France therefore the results may not necessarily apply to other countries. It does in this case however, imply a gender bias towards more men than women being investigated and treated once they reach hospital after a cardiac arrest.

"An important message from this study is that coronary heart disease is a real risk for women. We would encourage women to take any symptoms of chest pain seriously and seek medical attention as soon as possible."

Find out more about women and heart disease in our Women's Room.

Celebrating a legend

Professor Keith FoxVery few people have done more to save the lives of people who suffer a heart attack than retired BHF Professor Keith Fox. In recognition of his extraordinary achievements and contribution, Professor Fox was awarded the prestigious ESC Gold Medal.

With our support, thanks to your donations, Professor Fox carried out a number of pioneering studies which helped change guidelines for diagnosing and treating heart attacks around the world. Those changes have saved countless lives.

Speaking at the Congress Professor Fox thanked the British Heart Foundation for underpinning almost all of his research. As our supporters you should feel tremendously proud of what you have helped make possible.

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