The Heartbeat Trust’s 6th Public Information Meeting took place in Fitzpatrick’s Killiney Castle Hotel, Wednesday, May 11th 2014. The meeting was attended by over 170 STOP-HF patients and carers.

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Professor Ken McDonald, Consultant Cardiologist and Medical Director of The Heartbeat Trust along with staff from the Trust presented an update on our groundbreaking STOP-HF heart failure prevention study and discussed how results from the study have helped shape the expanding heart failure prevention service. Presentations on ongoing research, medication adherence and clinical trials were also given by Alison Sheerin, Research Nurse and Dr Fiona Ryan, Clinical Pharmacist. The Trust’s latest recruit Dr Conor Kerley, Dietician delivered tips on nutrition and exercise in heart disease prevention.

A Q&A session took place following the presentations where the audience asked our team of healthcare professionals a variety of questions on heart health from family history, medications and diet.

Patient feedback was tremendous and everyone complimented the staff for their delivery of a most informative and people friendly presentation. The question and answer session was excellent.  With one patient saying “It is indeed so very reassuring to know that we have excellent doctors such as Prof McDonald and his team working on our behalf.’” These public meetings help open a dialogue and promote the exchange of information between our community and their health care providers within the Heartbeat Trust.

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Approximately 1 in 5 people in Ireland are at risk developing heart failure, this group are the focus of the STOP HF (screening to prevent heart failure) programme run by the Heartbeat Trust. STOP HF began as a research programme in 2004 looking to see if people with risk factors for heart failure can have their risk defined by the use of a blood test known as Natriuretic Peptide (NP). NP is a protein that is released from the heart when it is under stress or strain.

People with risk factors for developing heart failure and in particular those with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and a prior heart attack have participated in the programme. So far almost 3,000 people have been enrolled. The programme has recently expanded form the East Coast region into the Midlands region.

Prof McDonald, Medical Director of the Heartbeat Trust said “This important programme is a unique effort internationally and will provide important information on how best to prevent the development of heart failure. Remembering ‘prevention is better than the cure’ through early detection of risk the mortality and quality of life for the general population can be improved and in turn there can only but be a reduction in the economic burden on the health service.”

If you would like to hear more about the service or our ongoing research studies please contact Lisa at 083 4656098 or email lisa@heartbeat-trust.org.