Call for heart research volunteers

October 20, 2015

A Royal Perth Hospital (RPH) study on coronary artery disease (CAD) is looking for volunteers!

If you are healthy and have a family history of heart disease, you are encouraged to consider volunteering for this important new study that could help reduce the risk of CAD in families with such a history.

The study will start at RPH soon and is part of a National Health and Medical Research Council-funded trial that will be conducted in several states.
In Western Australia the trial is being led by RPH Head of Lipid Disorders Clinic Professor Gerald Watts, who says many heart attacks are the result of an inherited predisposition to CAD.
“However unless a person is found to have high levels of cholesterol in their blood, we cannot be sure how best to treat them,” he said.
“This trial will determine whether a scan (to look directly at the heart) and the prescription of a simple medication may offer the best form of preventative therapy.”
Professor Watts says prospective volunteers must:
• be aged between 35 and 70 years
• be healthy and have no heart problems
• have a close family member who – before turning 60 – had a heart attack, a coronary stent inserted or underwent heart surgery
• not be taking a statin (cholesterol-lowering drug).
The study will compare two pathways of care:
• routine care - normal care provided by the participant’s regular GP
• guided care - a closely monitored form of care based on a heart calcium score in which the participant is given advice on diet, exercise and cholesterol-lowering medication.

The study meets strict ethical and governance requirements and all participants will receive optimal care under current best-practice guidelines.

Professor Watts says those who volunteer for the study will be making an important contribution to science and advancing the care and treatment of people with serious heart problems.

Anyone interested in participating should telephone 9224 0388, fax 9224 0329 or email