Heart charity’s campaign launch in Newham

A national heart charity has launched a campaign in Newham to make people aware of the horrifying effects of severe heart failure.

More than 1,700 people in Newham are currently living with heart failure. New research by the British Heart Foundation shows that over three quarters of people (81 per cent) in the East of England are unaware of the effect that heart failure can have on people’s lives.

BHF has launched a new campaign in Newham Heart Town highlighting the horrifying effects of severe heart failure, a condition most commonly caused by a heart attack.

The campaign, part of the BHF’s Mending Broken Hearts Appeal, aims to challenge common misconceptions about heart failure using the striking visual image of a drowning man to illustrate how severe heart failure can cause people’s lungs to fill with fluid, leaving them struggling to breathe.

The research also showed that over a third (38 per cent) of people in the East of England thought that once the heart had been damaged it was able to repair itself. While medical advances mean more people are surviving heart attacks, they cause permanent damage to the heart muscle which can leave people with heart failure – for which there is currently no cure.

But the BHF believes there is hope. Their Mending Broken Hearts Appeal seeks support from Newham Heart Town to fund regenerative medicine research that could cure heart failure. The cutting edge research programme involves stem cell research and developmental biology to work out how to repair or replace damaged heart muscle.

Professor Peter Weissberg, Medical Director at the BHF, said: “We believe a cure for heart failure is a goal we can achieve. We want to advance the science so that when someone has a heart attack, doctors have the tools to help repair the heart. What we need now is for the public to help us fund this research and take it from the laboratory bench to the hospital bedside.”