Cardiovascular & metabolic
A key theme of primary care research in Oxford
Cardiovascular disease is now the number one cause of death globally (WHO 2015) with more people dying from cardiovascular diseases than any other cause. Metabolic diseases, such as diabetes, are on the rise - globally around 415 million people live with diabetes, and it is expected to affect one person in 10 by 2040 - that's 642 million (Diabetes UK 2015).
Our research on cardiovascular and metabolic diseases in primary care focus on better detection, understanding the main causes of these conditions, new treatments, and developing and evaluating ways for people to better manage their conditions.
Cardiovascular health can play a role in the onset of several different diseases, and we have programmes of work in areas such as:
- stroke prevention and atrial fibrillation
- heart failure
- hypertension (with a focus on pregnancy)
- chronic kidney disease
For example, our researchers have found that lowering the threshold for prescribing anticoagulants to patients with atrial fibrillation would significantly reduce the number of strokes. Researchers in the department examined the records of 99,000 patients from over 500 UK general practices to see how many people with atrial fibrillation - a major risk factor for stroke - were taking anticoagulant medication. Only about half of at-risk patients were being prescribed anticoagulants. Reducing the threshold for anticoagulation would substantially reduce the incidence of disabling strokes in the UK.