University of Leeds project to improve angina care receives Heart Research UK grant

A project at the university of Leeds aiming to improve the investigation and management of patients with suspected angina has received a grant of almost £150,000 from national charity Heart Research UK.

Angina is chest pain usually caused by coronary heart disease (CHD) which occurs when there is a narrowing of the heart arteries that supply the heart muscle with blood.

In the UK, about 2 million people have angina and approximately 200,000 are referred to hospital each year for further tests.
There are lots of different tests to investigate suspected angina but doctors have different opinions as to the best approach.  This leads to wide practice variation, inefficiency of healthcare resources and may adversely impact on patient experience and outcomes. 

Recent NICE guidelines recommend a non-invasive CT angiogram for all patients with suspected typical or atypical angina. This approach does not recognise individual patient characteristics, risk factors or likelihood of them having disease, so can lead to over-estimation of disease severity in some patients.

This can lead to further tests, including invasive x-ray angiograms and increased NHS costs, with no difference in patient outcomes.

This project, led by Professor John Greenwood, will carry out a UK multi-centre clinical trial, involving approximately 4,000 patients, to test the UK NICE guidelines compared to a personalised strategy of cardiac investigation.

The personalised strategy will take account of individual patient risk factors and include current cardiac imaging tests widely available in the NHS.

This trial will formally evaluate the UK NICE guidelines to see if they are optimal or whether they can be improved.  This should reduce practice variation across the UK, lead to more robust guidelines and potentially reduce costs for the NHS

Prof John Greenwood said: ““This is an incredibly exciting project that we hope will make a real difference to how we identify and treat patients with angina. If we are successful, we may be able to drastically reduce unnecessary procedures, saving time and money and improving patient care.

“This will not only help to improve their quality of life, but could ensure that patients receive care tailored to their condition, increasing its effectiveness and helping to reduce the strain on our health service. We are very grateful to Heart Research UK for supporting this research.”

Kate Bratt-Farrar, Chief Executive of Heart Research UK, said:We are delighted to be supporting the work of Prof Greenwood and his team, which has the potential to have a big impact on how effective we can be at treating a condition which affects so many people.

“Our grants are all about helping patients. They aim to bring the latest developments to those who need them as soon as possible.

“The dedication we see from UK researchers is both encouraging and impressive and we at Heart Research UK are proud to be part of it.”

The £149,942 grant was awarded to the University of Leeds as part of Heart Research UK’s annual awards for research into the prevention, treatment and cure of heart disease.

Last year, Heart Research UK awarded more than £1.6 million in grants for medical research projects across the UK. To date, the charity has invested more than £27million in medical research via its grants programme.

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