East End NHS trust wins �6.5m for research into heart disease

The East End’s NHS trust has won �6.5million of government cash to research heart disease.

Tower Hamlets has a population disproportionately affected by cardiovascular problems and also has the country’s biggest heart attack centre based in Bethnal Green’s London Chest Hospital.

From next April the trust will team up with Barts and The London Medical School in a five-year project into the causes of cardiovascular disease and the treatments for it.

New therapies, better drugs and the potential of finding a cure could all be pioneered in the East End as part of the new deal, medics say.

Peter Morris, chief executive of Barts and The London NHS Trust, said: “With the country’s biggest heart attack centre our specialists deal with the human cost of heart disease on a daily basis.

“Barts and The London NHS Trust has a long history of pioneering new research.”

In 2009 more than 180,000 people died from cardiovascular disease.

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That equated to one in three deaths - making it the UK’s biggest killer.

East London has the highest rate of heart disease in the capital but progress in the field has already been made in recent years.

One health initiative – put up for a prestigious NICE award - helped prevent 37 heart attacks and deaths in the area in just one year.

As part of the drive, doctors in Tower Hamlets, Newham and Hackney prescribed anti-cholesterol drugs to patients known to have angina or to those who had previously had a heart attack.