Cardiac researcher Dr Jennifer Jones is at the forefront of an international effort to help heart patients get medications that can help stave off the world’s number one killer.
Dr Jones is now on the World Heart Federation’s Emerging Leaders program, which aims to develop new strategies to reduce heart disease.
Problems such as price, availability and quality make access to heart drugs in poorer countries a worry. The Federation says it urgently needs to find new ways to improve access to these life-saving medications.
Dr Jones and 24 other researchers will pool their knowledge to help get people drugs for high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol – top risk factors for heart disease.
By 2025, more than 7.8 million people worldwide will die early from heart disease without major steps to prevent it, said Dr Jones, cardiovascular health modules lead for Brunel physiotherapy students.
“Physiotherapists have an important role in promoting health at every opportunity,” she said. “This lies in detecting people at risk of a cardiovascular event and applying health promotion approaches to significantly reduce people’s cardiovascular risk and prevent needless hospitalisations.
“Brunel University London is dedicated to training the future generation of physiotherapists not only to treat people affected by a wide range of conditions, but also apply prevention strategies,” she added. “For example the patient may present with knee pain but each patient contact brings an opportunity to check their pulse to screen for atrial fibrillation.
“Ensuring every physiotherapist is trained in support for individual behaviour change and preventive clinical treatments makes an important contribution to reducing CVD.”
John Cossar, who heads up physiotherapy at Brunel said: “Jenni’s achievements with the World Heart Federation epitomise how Brunel academics can bring about real benefits for society at a global level. The positive health impact this project may bring to people in developing countries is an exciting example of our international outreach.”
Find out about physiotherapy at Brunel and the World Heart Federation Emerging Leaders Programme.
Hayley Jarvis, Media Relations