A project at the University of Manchester aiming to develop a new tool for predicting the risk of a cardiovascular event or death in patients who have already suffered a heart attack has received a grant of almost £150,000 from national charity Heart Research UK.

In the UK, around 7 million people are living with cardiovascular disease (CVD), which is responsible for one in four deaths.

People with CVD are up to five times more likely to have a stroke, are six times more likely to die compared to those without, and up to half of them suffer a second heart attack.

There are currently no methods to predict the risk in this group of patients, so there is an urgent need for such tools to help assess the risk of future cardiovascular events and deaths in patients who already have CVD.

The project, which will be led by Prof Mamas Mamas, Professor of Cardiology at Keele University and Honorary Professor of Population Health at the University of Manchester, will use medical data to develop a tool that predicts the risk of a future cardiovascular event or death, in people who have already had a heart attack with the aim of improving care of patients with CVD.

The development of such a tool would improve the quality of care for patients with CVD by helping GPs to identify patients at higher risk of future cardiovascular events and death, meaning that lifestyle changes can be made or appropriate medical treatment given to reduce their risk.

Prof Mamas said: “This is an incredibly exciting project that we hope will be able to make a real difference to survivors of heart attacks. If we can accurately predict the likelihood of them suffering another cardiovascular event, then we can intervene early and hopefully reduce their risk.

“This will not only help to improve their quality of life, but could ensure that patients receive care tailored to their condition, increasing its effectiveness and helping to reduce the strain on our health service.”

Kate Bratt-Farrar, Chief Executive of Heart Research UK, said: “We are delighted to be supporting the work of Prof Mamas and his team, which has the potential to have a big impact on how effective we can be at preventing people suffering from a cardiovascular event.

“Our Translational Research Project Grants are all about bridging the gap between laboratory-based scientific research and patient care – they aim to bring the latest developments to patients as soon as possible.

“The dedication we see from UK researchers is both encouraging and impressive and we at Heart Research UK are proud to be part of it.”

The £147,816 Translational Research Project grant was awarded to the University of Manchester as part of Heart Research UK’s annual awards for research into the prevention, treatment and cure of heart disease.

Last year, Heart Research UK awarded more than £1.6 million in grants for medical research projects across the UK. To date, the charity has invested more than £25 million in medical research via its grants programme.