Tropical fish could hold key to heart disease treatment

1 February 2011

The British Heart Foundation (BHF) is funding research into uncovering why some animals - including tropical fish - can repair their own damaged hearts.

According to the BHF's medical director, Professor Peter Weissberg, the research could pave the way for a huge number of new heart treatments in humans that could dramatically improve the quality of life for people with cardiovascular disease.

"Since the BHF's inception 50 years ago, we've made great strides in medical research to better diagnose and treat people with all kinds of heart problems," Professor Wiessberg said.

"But the biggest issue that still eludes us is how to help people once their heart has been damaged by a heart attack," he added.

The professor noted that repairing damaged human hearts is an achievable scientific goal and the new research could make recovering from a heart attack "as simple as getting over a broken leg".

According to the 2006 Health Survey for England, 13.6 per cent of men and 13.0 per cent of women have been diagnosed with a cardiovascular condition.


1 "Major new research programme to halt relentless rise in UK heart failure". British Heart Foundation. Tuesday, February 1st 2011.

2 "Health Survey for England 2006: CVD and risk factors adults, obesity and risk factors children". The Information Centre. Thursday, January 31st 2008.

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