Did you know that heart disease is the nation’s single biggest killer? Most of us know of someone in our lives who has suffered from or passed away due to heart failure. With this in mind, The British Heart Foundation (BHA) aims to create a world where people are not lost prematurely to heart disease.
As the UK’s biggest heart charity and the largest independent funder of cardiovascular research, The British Heart Foundation has plenty to be proud of.
The BHF’s work
Saving and improving lives – Over the past 50 years, their pioneering research has helped transform the lives of people with circulatory and heart conditions. Many important treatments have been discovered which have changed the face of our on-going fight against coronary heart disease. The organisation not only leads research, it is vital for the prevention, survival and care of all those with heart diseases.
Nowadays, more and more people survive a heart attack than ever before and more than half a million people in the UK live with heart failure. Greater survival rates combined with an ageing population, mean that with the right treatment and care, more people are living perfectly comfortably with heart disease. But with so many more survivors than in past years, demand is growing for support and care workers, all of which need valuable funding.
Invaluable work – Today, The British Heart Foundation is funding several thousand research projects all across the UK and these have helped transform the lives of millions of people. Many people are alive today thanks to this research and often have a far better quality of life because of it.
Simon Gillespie, BHF Chief Executive comments: “We at the British Heart Foundation are making fantastic progress in the fight against heart disease. Since launching our Strategy in 2014, we are well on our way to realising our ambitions, funding £100m of life saving research each year and successfully launching a translational research programme that bridges the gap between lab-based science and new treatments for patients”
Just a few of their outstanding results
- Heart attack treatment and care have been transformed, from the discovery of clot-busting drugs and advances in statins to the levels of care patients receive in hospital.
- Many inherited conditions can now be successfully diagnosed and treated thus preventing sudden deaths.
- Hospitals have benefitted from their pioneering techniques – from scans to tests such as angioplasty, both of which are now routine practices.
- More patients with severe heart failure now have the hope of a heart transplant and heart surgery has become safer, thanks to innovative techniques.
- More patients with severe heart failure now have the hope of a heart transplant.
- The number of children dying of heart failure has fallen by over 80 per cent in the past three decades. In the 1960’s, only 20 per cent lived to their first birthday.
- Today, most babies born with heart defects can now survive.
- Widespread scientific studies prove that heart disease runs in families and The BHF offers a wealth of carefully researched advice as to what you can do to help your family if it does.
- Pacemakers are helping people control their heart rates to healthy levels. They have been transformed from bulky devices to handy ones that fit unobtrusively inside the chest.
Many of these achievements would not have been possible without the millions of pounds received in donations and support. The BHF manages to fund scientists at over 50 different research facilities across the UK.
In addition, there are smaller projects are in operating operation across the UKtoo, including the University of Leicester’s research into the rarer causes of heart attacks and Bristol University’s studies into the role the brain plays in causing high blood pressure.
The work goes on
Despite the outstanding achievements from the BHF’s research, there’s still a lot more to be done.
Surgery techniques can still be improved and while much work is being put into babies, many still struggle with congenital heart problems. Then there are exciting developments in stem cell technology and genetics yet to be found, which may yet find the answer to the treatment of many heart conditions.
How you can help
With continued support from the public as well as larger organisations, valuable research into heart disease can keep on being funded, thus making a huge difference to millions of people in the UK and across the globe.
But they can’t do it alone.
Alternatively, you could set up a campaign locally – the Foundation is well organised in equipping people with all the necessary tools to lead fruitful campaigns. You can find out more information and details on how you can get involved by going to The British Heart Foundation website here.
You can also subscribe for FREE to the British Heart Foundation’s membership programme and receive their heart health magazine plus much more.