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Cymraeg

Web-based calculator to help predict heart disease

12 February 2010

Internet users can assess their future risk of having heart disease by visiting a new website developed by Cardiff University experts.

myHeartRisk.co.uk is a new website that assesses risk of developing heart disease in the future, by using information about health status and lifestyle. There is also an electronic questionnaire which asks people’s opinions about their risk.

Heart disease is the biggest killer in the UK and lots of people do not know they are at risk from it. Heart disease risk can be reduced by making small changes to lifestyle, such as adopting healthier behaviours or taking medication. Therefore, it is important to have an assessment to know if you are at risk.

The website has been developed as part of a research study by Principle Investigator Professor Glyn Elwyn and Cherry-Ann Waldron from Cardiff University’s Department of Primary Care and Public Health and supported by Professor Julian Halcox of the Wales Heart Research Institute.

The aim of the research study is to examine perceptions and attitudes towards heart disease, and provide insight into what people think about their risk when it is presented to them in a certain way.

Professor Glyn Elwyn who leads Cardiff University’s School of Medicine’s Decision Laboratory research group said: "myHeartRisk is a quick and ‘easy- to-use’ website that provides an estimation to those who may not have thought about their risk of heart disease before."

The study is looking for volunteers to visit the website, who are aged between 45 and 64 years of age, have not been previously diagnosed with heart disease, had a cardiac event (such as a heart attack or angina) or had a stroke.

£1 will be donated to the British Heart Foundation for every person who takes part and completes the study with the University hoping to raise over £1,000.

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Notes:
1. Further information or to arrange a media interview, please contact:

Angela Watkins
Tel: 029 206 87190
E-mail: watkinsa6@Cardiff.ac.uk

Cherry-Ann Waldron
029 206 87193
E-mail WaldronC@cardiff.ac.uk

2. Cardiff School of Medicine
Cardiff University’s School of Medicine is a significant contributor to healthcare in Wales, a major provider of professional staff for the National Health Service and an international centre of excellence for research delivering substantial health benefits locally and internationally. The school’s 800 staff include 500 research and academic staff who teach more than 2,000 students, including 1,110 postgraduate students.

The School is based at the Heath Park Campus, a site it shares the University Hospital of Wales, the third largest university hospital in the UK. The School has an all-Wales role, contributing greatly to promoting, enhancing and protecting the nation’s health. A key partner in this role is the National Health Service (NHS) in Wales, with which the School is linked at all levels. This mutual dependency is illustrated by the teaching of medical undergraduates in more than 150 hospitals located in all of Wales’ health authorities. The medical curriculum followed at the School enables students to acquire and apply knowledge, skills, judgement and attitudes appropriate to delivering a high standard of professional care.

Around 300 new doctors currently graduate from the School every year and the Welsh Assembly Government has invested substantially in new teaching facilities to increase this number further.

3. Cardiff University
Cardiff University is recognised in independent government assessments as one of Britain’s leading teaching and research universities and is a member of the Russell Group of the UK’s most research intensive universities. Among its academic staff are two Nobel Laureates, including the winner of the 2007 Nobel Prize for Medicine, Professor Sir Martin Evans.

Founded by Royal Charter in 1883, today the University combines impressive modern facilities and a dynamic approach to teaching and research. The University’s breadth of expertise in research and research-led teaching encompasses: the humanities; the natural, physical, health, life and social sciences; engineering and technology; preparation for a wide range of professions; and a longstanding commitment to lifelong learning.

Visit the University website at: www.cardiff.ac.uk