Mark Menzies backs research into heart disease

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FYLDE MP Mark Menzies said UK medical research is vital in the continued fight against heart disease.

The Member of Parliament recently joined British Heart Foundation (BHF) scientists and patients at a reception in the House of Commons, to hear how research is helping to save or improve the lives of millions of people.

Mr Menzies was given information about the latest research projects and the hope they offer to people with heart conditions and why Government support is vital.

He said: “Heart disease is a devastating condition that affects thousands of people in Fylde.

“But with the public’s support, charities like the BHF are able to fund some of the world’s leading researchers, who work tirelessly to find the next major breakthrough that could help save more lives.

“If we are to continue making great strides in heart research, our brightest scientists need our support, both through Government funding and support from fundraisers.”

There are an estimated 10,390 people in Fylde living with heart and circulatory disease, and seven million people across the UK. It causes a quarter of all deaths in the UK.

The BHF is the largest independent funder of cardiovascular research and spends around £100m every year on world class research to improve prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease. The charity sector is the largest funder of life sciences research in universities, with the Government contributing £198m each year.

The Government’s science budget is currently protected from cuts to expenditure but only until April 2016. The BHF is calling on the Government to maintain the current ring-fencing of the science budget and to commit to future increases.

Professor Peter Weissberg, medical director at the BHF, added: “Any cut to science funding would be extremely damaging to our life saving research and the fight against heart disease.

“Through our research we’ve helped make great progress over the last 50 years to reduce the number of deaths from heart disease by more than 50 per cent and improve the lives of people living with it.

“This year alone our researchers have developed a highly sensitive blood test that could double the detection rate of heart attacks in women. Recently our researchers have improved our understanding of how we may be able to regenerate the heart after a heart attack, bringing hope that one day there will be a treatment for severe heart failure.

“Much more research is needed if we are to continue helping the millions of families across the UK deeply affected by heart disease, and this can’t be done without strong Government support.”

Find out more about the vital work carried out by our researchers at www.bhf.org.uk/research

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