Our million pound boost for blood pressure research

29 January 2015        

Blood pressure assessment

We are helping to fund an important project to improve high blood pressure treatment. The funding is part of a major medical research funding initiative by the Government.

We have committed over a £1 million to the £3.5 million AIM HY study, which is being led by researchers at King's College London. The study is one of four stratified medicine initiatives being funded in collaboration with the Medical Research Council (MRC).

What is stratified medicine?

Stratified medicine is about developing more personalised medical treatments. Not all patients respond exactly the same to a particular treatment and stratified medicine is about finding the right treatment for each person.

Thanks in part to the NHS, which provides an unrivalled level of data about people's responses to particular treatments, the UK is well-placed to lead the way in stratified medicine.

Find out why we think patient data is vital to improving treatments for heart patients.

One area where we know stratified medicine could have huge benefits is in the treatment of high blood pressure, which is thought to affect as many as seven million people in the UK.

The trouble with blood pressure treatment

There are a wide variety of medicines available for high blood pressure and although these are effective and safe, it is often necessary to try different types of drugs and sometimes a combination of two or more drugs. Delay in choosing the right kind of tablet or combination of tablets is a major problem and, in a large proportion of people with high blood pressure, it is not adequately controlled.

The AIM HY study we're funding will examine whether treatment for high blood pressure can be improved by taking a person's ethnicity into account. We already know that your ethnic background can increase your risk of developing cardiovascular disease. And statistics show, for example, that if you are of an African Caribbean background, you may be more likely to have high blood pressure.

The researchers will look at the genetics of people with high blood pressure and also analyse their blood looking for particular chemicals. They will use this information to see if it can help predict the best type of drug or combination of drugs to treat a person's high blood pressure.

Our hopes for this project

Ultimately the team hope to develop a single test that would provide doctors with the information they need to choose the right treatment for each person. This would hopefully reduce the number of consultations a patient needs and mean they receive the best treatment for them sooner.

This project is only possible because of your generous donations. Please help us fund more life changing research like this by donating today.