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Heart disease can affect anyone.

Ross Leondiou has a family history of heart disease, with his father and his brothers all suffering heart attacks around the age of 58.

With the loss of his father from a heart attack when Ross was 27, Ross decided to take his health into his own hands. Deciding to do everything he could to minimize his risk, Ross embarked on a health journey involving a strict regime that allowed him to reach a peak level of fitness.

But despite his dedication to his health, Ross suffered a heart attack at age 57, while he was doing his usual workout at the gym. He was rushed to hospital, where he received several stents.

Now on medication to prevent another incident, Ross maintains his healthy lifestyle, as advised by doctors. His only change has been to switch from gym work to Pilates and yoga.

Ross is passionate about getting the message out that heart disease can affect anyone, even someone as healthy as himself.

Ross has an older brother who never exercises and has been overweight from an early age. After Ross suffered from his heart attack, his brother had numerous tests done. He was found to be in excellent health with clear arteries.

So much more research and devel­op­ment into heart dis­ease and pre­ven­ta­tive treat­ments needs to be done. And because this ben­e­fits soci­ety as a whole, I believe it’s some­thing our soci­ety in turn should be supporting.”

Ross believes strongly more needs to be done to help assess heart disease risk so that people can start interventions early and avoid a possible fatal incident.

My point is that heart dis­ease can strike any­one, no mat­ter how fit you may look or feel,” Ross says.

How is HRI helping?

HRI is conducting innovative research to develop new therapies for detecting, preventing and treating heart attacks.

Our Coronary Diseases Group is investigating whether the anti-inflammatory drug colchicine, which has already proved safe and effective for treating conditions like arthritis and gout, can be repurposed to protect against repeat heart attacks. A collaboration between the Coronary Disease Group and our Clinical Research Group has also discovered that the heart releases certain substances during a heart attack that can be detected in the laboratory.

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