To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what funding his Department has allocated to support research into heart attacks in women; and for what reason that research was not included in the Government’s NHS Long-Term Plan.
The Department funds research on health and social care through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). NIHR welcomes funding applications for research into any aspect of human health, including heart attacks in women. It is not usual practice to ring-fence funds for particular topics or conditions.
There have been 28 studies directly funded by the NIHR relating to heart attacks (myocardial infarction) in the last five financial years, from 2013/14 to 2017/18, all with female participants, including a randomised controlled trial investigating the prevention of cardiac toxicity in breast cancer patients. Additionally, over the same period, there has been support through NIHR Clinical Research Networks for 23 studies investigating heart attacks all of which included female participants, with a total expenditure of £1.9 million. The British Women’s Heart and Health Study, which commenced in 2009, was directly funded by the NIHR and specifically looked at heart disease in women.
Preventing and managing cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a priority for NHS England, as indicated by the inclusion of CVD in the NHS Long Term Plan. CVD prevention is also a key theme in NHS England’s Five Year Forward View and their NHS RightCare programme. NHS RightCare launched the Cardiovascular Disease Prevention Optimal Value Pathway in 2016.
The NHS Long Term Plan also sets out how we will ensure that patients continue to benefit from high quality research and innovation with a commitment that the National Health Service will play its full part in delivering the Life Sciences sector deal and work to increase the number of people registering to participate in health research to one million by 2023/24.