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This funding will build on the Oxford CLAHRC and SPCR funded work I have been doing in OPTiMISE (SPCR project 335) and further feasibility work which was recently funded by the School (project 418). There is no doubt that these previous awards helped me to secure this fellowship and I am truly grateful to the SPCR and the Oxford CLAHRC for backing me.
- Dr James Sheppard, University of Oxford

Dr James Sheppard, NIHR School for Primary Care Research and CLAHRC Oxford-funded researcher has been awarded a Sir Henry Dale Fellowship to conduct research on the benefits and harms of cardiovascular prevention treatments in primary care.

The five year award is joint funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Royal Society enabling James to undertake his study: 'STRatifying Antihypertensive Treatments In multi-morbid hypertensives For personalised management of Blood Pressure (STRATIFY-BP)’. 

James explains why the work is important: "The funding will enable me to undertake a project studying the benefits and harms of cardiovascular prevention treatments in primary care. This is important since people are living for longer, with more long-term physical and mental conditions which worsen their health.

"One example is high blood pressure, where people can take 3-4 drugs to prevent stroke. However, between 65-125 people have to be treated for at least a year to prevent a stroke in one person. This is because these drugs only reduce possibility of stroke, they do not remove it altogether. Some of these patients may be prone to side effects such as falls and kidney problems.

"My project aims to use information from the medical records from 100,000s of patients to establish the link between blood pressure lowering drugs and side effects and develop a calculator which predicts a person’s risk of suffering harm. This information will be used to create a clinical decision support tool which will help patients and doctors make better informed decisions about starting or continuing blood pressure drugs."

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