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New cardiovascular disease research centre launched


A new London research centre for the treatment and prevention of cardiovascular disease is launched today.

Cardiovascular disease is one of the biggest contributors to the global burden of disease, and by 2020 will be the number one contributor according to figures from the World Health Organisation. In response, the International Centre for Circulatory Health (ICCH) has been set up by Imperial College London and St Mary’s NHS Trust as an international research centre to develop new treatments and preventative strategies for cardiovascular disease around the world.

The Centre will be opened by Professor Sally Davies, Director, Research and Development at the Department of Health and Sir Richard Sykes, Rector of Imperial College London. Also in attendance will be NHS ‘Heart Czar’ Roger Boyle.

Professor Peter Sever, Joint Director of the International Centre for Circulatory Health, comments: “Currently cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death worldwide, and this is set to increase dramatically by 2020, making it vitally important that we develop better ways to treat and manage the disease. By combining Imperial’s research expertise with St Mary’s excellence in treating and managing cardiovascular disease, we hope to better leverage the strengths of both organisations.”

The ICCH’s major focus will be to investigate the causes of cardiovascular disease and develop improved preventative strategies. It will also design educational programmes to ensure best practice is shared in the UK and the developing world.

The ICCH is responsible for coordinating a number of large scale international studies looking at new treatments for cardiovascular disease, including the Anglo Scandinavian Cardiac Outcomes Trial, the results of which have already influenced international guidelines on treating hypertension and high blood pressure. The ICCH is also running a number of trials in the developing world, including a trial in Pakistan to evaluate simple preventative and treatment measures for hypertension. In addition to the research arm the ICCH is also helping develop improved patient services, including a ‘same day’ chest pain assessment unit, a specialist heart failure clinic and a stroke unit.

The Foundation for Circulatory Health, a charitable organisation, has donated £1.5 million to support the ICCH.

Jeremy Skinner, Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Foundation for Circulatory Health, adds: “I am particularly pleased to see the money the Foundation has raised being used in such an effective way. Both Imperial and St Mary’s already have world class reputations, and combining their cardiovascular specialists in this unique collaboration will bring results which can make a real difference to the millions suffering with cardiovascular disease.”

Tony Stephenson | alfa
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