Praise for heart team’s international research work

Posted on in Nurses, Research, Services, Staff, The trust

James Cook's ISCHEMIA team (L to R) Dr Matt Jackson, Nicky Cunningham, Bev Atkinson and Dr Mark de Belder

James Cook’s ISCHEMIA team (L to R) Dr Matt Jackson, Nicky Cunningham, Bev Atkinson and Dr Mark de Belder

Cardiologists at Teesside’s biggest hospital have been praised for their role in a major international study looking at the effectiveness of different treatments for patients with Ischemic Heart Disease (IHD).

The cardiothoracic team, led by Dr Mark de Belder at The James Cook University Hospital, were praised by New York University-based leaders of the ISCHEMIA trial.

Leaders of the study say a combination of medication and lifestyle changes should always be the first line of treatment.

However, they claim many doctors routinely use an invasive approach in addition to medication to treat IHD; yet it is not known if this approach is better than medical therapy alone as the initial treatment of patients with Stable Ischemic Heart Disease (SIHD).

The trial involving South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, in collaboration with many other major heart centres around the world, is designed to find the answer.

Coronary heart disease specialistsPatients with moderate or severe Ischemia on stress test imaging may be eligible for participation.

Dr De Belder, principal investigator for the trial at The James Cook University Hospital, said:  “Although many patients with stable angina undergo coronary bypass surgery and interventions like coronary angioplasty or coronary stenting, the role of these treatments in improving prognosis, as opposed to improving symptoms, has come under scrutiny in the era when we also have a series of drugs like statins that improve survival rates.

“This trial addresses this important subject.

“The Cardiothoracic team have been congratulated for the high quality of the data they have sent in and also have been one of the top recruiting teams in the UK.”

Angioplasty involves inserting, then inflating, a small balloon into a blocked coronary artery, leaving a rigid support to restore blood flow. Stenting uses a small mesh tube to treat narrow or weak arteries.

The cardiology team at The James Cook University Hospital offers a comprehensive range of modern diagnostic and therapeutic techniques in heart disease, including pacemakers, echocardiography, exercise stress testing and many more services for a large population.

The service also cares for patients with chronic heart disease who develop other major illnesses, supported by the cardiac rehabilitation department which provides a seven-week programme for patients recovering from heart conditions or surgery.

Information from NHS Choices

Ischemic Heart Disease (IHD) also known as Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) is the leading cause of death both in the UK and worldwide.

It’s responsible for more than 73,000 deaths in the UK each year. About 1 in 6 men and 1 in 10 women die from CHD.

In the UK, there are an estimated 2.3 million people living with CHD and around 2 million people affected by angina (the most common symptom of coronary heart disease).

CHD generally affects more men than women, although from the age of 50 the chances of developing the condition are similar for both sexes.

As well as angina (chest pain), the main symptoms of CHD are heart attacks and heart failure. However, not everyone has the same symptoms and some people may not have any before CHD is diagnosed.