Valentine’s Day message from Liverpool’s world-leading heart hospital and research centre

Heart experts are marking Valentine’s Day by highlighting the achievements of the two-year-old Liverpool Centre for Cardiovascular Science – and asking people to be ‘heart-aware’.

The Centre brings together world-leading specialists from the University of Liverpool, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital and Liverpool Health Partners to tackle one of the biggest causes of death and disease in the North West.

Since it was established in February 2019, affiliated researchers have published more than 500 papers and secured more than £20 million research grant funding for studies led or jointly led by members of the Centre.

This work has a direct influence on the way heart disease is managed in the UK and around the world.

Professor Gregory Lip, Director of the Liverpool Centre for Cardiovascular Science and a consultant cardiologist at Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital said: “One of the many examples of our success in influencing national and international healthcare is our proposal for an integrated care pathway approach to manage atrial fibrillation, the most common irregular heart rhythm, which affects more than one million people in the UK and increases their risk of stroke.

“This care pathway is being introduced in Cheshire and Merseyside to prevent strokes and other cardiac complications, by improving the way we identify and treat atrial fibrillation. 

“Our work in validating the pathway led to it being recommended in new 2020 European AF Guidelines to optimise care for atrial fibrillation patients.”

Professor Lip also urged people to be ‘heart-aware’ and to check their pulses by following simple steps shown on the British Heart Foundation website. 

The Centre has worked with patient organisations such as the AF Association, developing patient education videos on the management of this common arrhythmia.

“An irregular heart beat can be a sign of a heart condition; it is easy to check your pulse and if you find something is wrong you should contact your GP,” said Professor Lip.

Dr Deirdre Lane, who is Reader in Cardiovascular Health at the Centre said: “Heart disease and diseases affecting the circulation cause more than a quarter of all deaths in the UK.  

“Around four million men and 3.6 million women are living with these conditions in the UK. Lifestyle changes such as stopping smoking, being more physically active, and eating more healthily can reduce the likelihood of developing heart and circulatory disease and prevent further complications in people who already have these conditions.”

Events organised by the Liverpool Centre for Cardiovascular Science in the last two years have included pulse testing in shopping centres; online exercise classes; and the lighting up of landmark buildings across the region to mark World Heart Day.

Professor Lip is the Price-Evans Chair of Cardiovascular Medicine at the University of Liverpool; Consultant Cardiologist at Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital. Dr Lane is Reader in Cardiovascular Health at the University of Liverpool and Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital.