Clinical cardiovascular research in the Centre for Cardiovascular Sciences encompasses a number of active research groups, both from university and NHS staff. These include groups in cardiology, cardiothoracic surgery, primary care and cardiovascular physiology.
A particular focus has been on the epidemiology of cardiovascular disease and stroke, with a broad span from clinical cardiology to primary care. Our research into atrial fibrillation has defined the epidemiology of this common arrhythmia and the value of screening for the condition in primary care. The Birmingham Atrial Fibrillation Treatment of the Aged (BAFTA) trial has established the value of oral anticoagulation for stroke prevention in the elderly (age >75).
We have investigated the impact of risk factors for stroke and bleeding in atrial fibrillation, and have developed and validated the CHA2DS2-VASc and HAS-BLED scores for assessing stroke and bleeding risk, respectively. These scores are now used in international treatment guidelines (Europe, Canada), and indeed, Birmingham research has had a major impact on atrial fibrillation treatment guidelines issued by NICE, the European Society of Cardiology and the Canadian Cardiovascular Society.
Our research has also characterised the pathophysiology of thrombosis in common cardiovascular conditions, such as atrial fibrillation, hypertension and heart failure. In addition, our work has validated biomarkers of thromboembolism and vascular biology in cardiovascular disease as prognostic indices.
We have defined the clinical epidemiology of heart failure in the population, as well as the largest epidemiological screening project of heart failure in ethnic minority groups (E-ECHOES).
Our hypertension research has characterised treatment options in hypertension in pregnancy, a severe form of hypertension (malignant hypertension) and the use of first line drug treatment options for the initial management of hypertension.
Cardiovascular physiology has focussed on the pathophysiology of ischaemic reperfusion injury, as well as endothelial dysfunction and protection.
Other active clinical cardiovascular science research has been evident from NHS partners, including vascular function and arteriolar-ventricular interactions in chronic kidney disease, and the effects of various interventions. Also, cardiac transplant donor assessment as well as the impact of donor assessments, myocardial energetic and aortic diseases have been the focus of active clinical research.
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