400 volunteers wanted for heart testing by London School of Medicine

Scientists in London’s East End are looking for 400 volunteers to join an ‘E-health’ trial to see if computer technology like the internet and emails can help reduce the chance of a heart attack or stroke.

The study at the London School of Medicine in Whitechapel is looking at whether new technology helps people understand how to live healthier lives and avoid risking heart disease which is the biggest cause of death in Britain.

Volunteers in the six-month trial undergo a health assessment before being randomly allocated to two groups to test whether computers really do help keep people healthier.

Half get standard care with verbal advice and be referred to their GP.

The others receive standard care with electronic health advice on diet, exercise and smoking, targeting any poor lifestyle habits and medical risk factors.

All those taking part will be re-assessed at the end of the six months to see if their health has improved.

The researchers will also scan the heart of one-in-three volunteers to look for physical changes before and after the programme, along with ultrasounds to measure changes in the neck arteries.

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Volunteers who have to be aged 40 to 74 and be at moderate risk of heart attack in the next 10 years can fill out an online questionnaire about their family history, smoking habits and blood pressure. Those eligible can then book an appointment to be assessed by the team.