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HAPPY London: Londoners needed for heart attack prevention study

Researchers from Queen Mary University of London are conducting a study looking to prevent heart attacks through personalised online advice on how to improve your health and lifestyle.

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The HAPPY London Study (Heart Attack Prevention Programme for You) is looking for London based participants who are aged between 40 and 74 years old, have easy access to the internet and are interested in finding out more about their heart’s health.

Heart disease remains the number one cause of death, both in the developed and developing countries, and in men and women alike. Rates are expected to rise in the coming decades due to escalating proportions of obesity and the aging population.

The magnitude of this healthcare problem requires innovative measures to improve heart-health at population level. The HAPPY programme was started in March 2007 with the objective of cost-effective mass screening for the likelihood of heart problems, mass communication for educating communities on how to prevent heart attacks and providing recommendations of treatment wherever appropriate.

Previous studies have shown it is possible to carry out mass screenings to assess risk of heart disease among large groups, and personalised mass communication through the internet can be effective in decreasing the 10-year risk of developing a heart condition.

In addition, previous research published in the British Medical Journal has revealed exercise is potentially as effective as many drug interventions for patients with existing heart conditions. This suggests lifestyle changes such as physical activity and a healthy diet can have a strong positive effect on keeping the heart healthy.

Dr Mohammed Khanji, who is leading the study at Queen Mary University of London, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, comments: “We all know someone who has been affected by heart disease and it is a growing problem here in the UK. Small but crucial changes to lifestyle, such as getting more exercise, eating more fresh fruit and vegetables and reducing cholesterol, can be the difference between falling ill and staying healthy. This study is designed to assess how online interventions can help people reduce their risk of heart attack. It’s had great success in other countries and now we want to bring this to London and see what difference we can make on top of what is already provided by the NHS.”

If you decide to join and meet the inclusion conditions for the full Happy London programme, you’ll receive a free, thorough expert heart focused medical assessment. Participants will also get free e-coaching aimed at making you healthier if they fall in the intervention arm of the study.  The first 65 participants from the intervention group and the comparator group will also have a state of the art heart MRI scan to look for changes over the study period.

You can register here to find out more or contact or call 020 7882 6919.

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