Cardiovascular diseases are responsible for over a quarter of all deaths in the UK each year, with coronary heart disease standing out as its single biggest killer. Over the last three decades there has been real progress in reducing death rates surrounding cardiovascular diseases, which have seen a 50% drop. However, this advancement is offset by the fact that the incidence rates for cardiovascular diseases are increasing at an alarming rate due to a combination of genetic and lifestyle factors. The focus of cardiovascular disease research has primarily centred on the treatment of such conditions, with little focus given to disease prevention. Stakeholders are therefore aware of the need for more biomedical research into averting the development of cardiovascular diseases, and improving understanding of the genetic and biochemical differences that determine disease risk.
At the University of Reading, The Institute for Cardiovascular and Metabolic Research (ICMR) is a multidisciplinary centre working to improve our understanding of how to prevent such diseases.
The ICMR has recently benefitted from substantial funding totalling £900,000 from four key partners; the British Heart Foundation, Garfield Weston Foundation, John Nike and The Wolfson Foundation, leading to the establishment of the ICMR Centre for Cardiovascular Imaging. The expansion of the imaging facilities enables the University of Reading to remain at the cutting-edge of research and as such is an important investment in its scientific future.
With state-of the art facilities, the ICMR is now at the forefront of research that works to understand why heart disease develops, easing the burden of an ever growing problem. The impact of such research will have a global reach, with the ICMR's research focus and capabilities placing it as a world-leader in the fight to avoid what is developing into a 21st Century health crisis. Professor Jon Gibbins, Professor of Cell Biology at University of Reading says, "A little-appreciated fact is that in the last 4 decades the death rate from sufferers of cardiovascular disease has halved, and this is fundamentally down to research."
The work of the ICMR has now also been expanded with support from our alumni and donor community to fund a new research project to understand how blood clotting is controlled, particularly in patients with cardiovascular disease. Unwanted blood clotting in diseased blood vessels is the cause of heart attacks, strokes and other cardiovascular diseases. With increased resources, the University of Reading will be able to develop further understanding of the complex array of risk factors associated with cardiovascular problems. This will enable the development of more personalised treatments that will give millions of people a better chance in the fight against heart disease.
Thank you for your support.
of all deaths in the UK each year are as a result of cardiovascular disease
in death rates surrounding cardiovascular diseases over the last three decades
funding received to establish the ICMR Centre for Cardiovascular Imaging
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W M Childs
First Vice-Chancellor, 1926-29