Rates of obesity and diabetes are higher than they've ever been before, and only a quarter of UK adults consume the recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables per day. Risk factors such as these are major precursors to cardiovascular disease, the UK’s number one killer. At HRI, we’re working to prevent death and suffering from cardiovascular disease.
My family has a history of heart disease. My siblings and I are acutely aware of the risk factors.

Did you know?

One-third of men and half of women in England do not achieve recommended levels of physical activity.

Smoking, drinking, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, an unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and obesity are all associated with cardiovascular disease.1

Around 30 per cent of children in the UK are overweight or obese.

Only one in five children consume the recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables per day.1

There are 3.3 million adults in the UK diagnosed with diabetes.

An estimated 600,000 more are living with undiagnosed Type 2 diabetes. Diabetes is a major pre-curser to cardiovascular disease. 1

What can I do... to help ensure a healthier future?

1. Adapt your lifestyle.

Consume a low-fat diet high in fruit and vegetables, moderate your alcohol intake and exercise regularly

2. Break the cycle.

Our children adopt healthy eating habits from a young age. Bring your kids up in an environment where you drink water, eat fresh food and play sport regularly.

3. Support medical research.

The Heart Research Institute is an internationally recognised medical research institute performing groundbreaking cardiovascular research. Established more than 25 years ago, today our work is more relevant than ever.

How our research is preventing heart disease

Unravelling the link between diabetes and cardiovascular disease

Researchers at The Heart Research Institute are the first in the world to uncover a link between diabetes and cardiovascular disease, a discovery that has the potential to save millions of lives. With these findings from Translational and Bioengineering Group, we hope to discover a way to help prevent damage to cells and cell death, and provide new treatment for vascular complications of diabetes.

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Understanding the causes of preeclampsia

If you’re a woman with children, you’ve probably heard about preeclampsia: it’s a disease of high blood pressure during pregnancy, affecting around 3-5% of all pregnancies and is life-threatening for both mother and the unborn child. Our Vascular Immunology Group at the Heart Research Institute has a principal interest in understanding the causes and progression of preeclampsia. New work by Dr Bei Xu from the Vascular Immunology Group has investigated events which occur early in pregnancy, as the placenta establishes the ood source for the growing embryo.

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Why are smokers more likely to get heart disease?

Atherosclerosis (narrowing and blockage of arteries) is four times more prevalent in people who smoke, resulting in far more deaths from coronary heart disease in smokers than non-smokers. Although it is well established that smoking independently increases the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, the reasons are not well understood. Research by the Inflammation Group is shining a light on this.

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British Heart Foundation, Cardiovascular Disease Statistics UK Factsheet, Updated August 2015.