Older heart-attack victims are focus of research project

Dr Vijay Kunadian
Dr Vijay Kunadian

North East researchers have been awarded £1.7million to investigate heart-attack treatments for patients over the age of 75.

Researchers at the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Newcastle University have received the money from the British Heart Foundation to lead a clinical trial tasked with finding the most suitable way to treat patients over 75 who have a heart attack.

The clinical trial, supported by the National Institute for Health Research, will investigate if current UK practices are in line with the needs of our ageing population and if patients from the age of 75 are receiving the best care available.

Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the UK’s single biggest killer, responsible for nearly 70,000 deaths each year, most caused by heart attacks, and the leading cause of death worldwide.

Dr Vijay Kunadian, senior lecturer at Newcastle University and honorary consultant interventional cardiologist at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital is the chief investigator responsible for the clinical trial across the country.

She said: “There is much debate and conflicting views among clinicians and cardiologists about how to treat patients over 75 years old who present with a heart attack due to lack of definitive evidence as older patients are often excluded from clinical research.”