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Stopping heart failure

Following a stroke a number of years ago, John Donovan was asked if he would like to participate in the STOP Heart Failure trial. This involved a simple blood test to measure a protein called natriuretic peptide which is released by the heart when it is under stress or strain.

John Donovan
John Donovan

Following a stroke a number of years ago, John Donovan was asked if he would like to participate in the STOP Heart Failure trial. This involved a simple blood test to measure a protein called natriuretic peptide which is released by the heart when it is under stress or strain. Participants in the trial with an elevated level of natriuretic peptide are given a heart ultrasound, lifestyle advice and given a collaborative care plan that was reviewed by both their GP and cardiologist.   

'The fact that I am standing here at all today is testament to the ongoing care I get from the STOP Heart Failure team. Being involved in this trial highlighted blood pressure and cholesterol problems I was having. And more importantly, the team helped me get these under control.

‘They are exceptional and the regular interaction with them also keeps the importance of exercise front and centre. I am engaging in competitive sport and eat a healthy diet as a result. If I hadn’t done, I would not have been able to have two hip operations - which in turn have enabled me to continue being active. It’s a win-win'.

John is now among 3000 patients who are now benefitting from this intervention which prevents heart failure and has the potential to avoid more than 17,250 hospital admissions a year if rolled out nationally.

Link back: Prof Ken McDonald who led this trial was awarded a HRB Clinician Scientist Award. Their trial showed a 45% reduction in new onset heart failure and a drop of 40% in the incidence of admissions for other major cardiovascular events, such as stroke and heart attack.