A prospective interventional study to prevent cardiovascular events in acute bereavement
A major interventional clinical trial is underway, aiming to reduce cardiovascular risk factors in the recently bereaved with short-term therapy. This project will focus on the increase in blood-derived and electrophysiological risk factors which we have previously shown in acute bereavement, and whether this intervention can prevent it.
Acute bereavement, such as the death of a partner or child, is a traumatic life event requiring an extended period of grieving and adjustment. Bereavement also poses physical risks to the individual, with a clear increase in the risk of cardiac and other vascular events in the weeks following the loss. Our multidisciplinary research team has recently completed the largest study of cardiovascular risk in acute bereavement (CARBER), recruiting the partners of hospital inpatients who had died in our hospital system. This study confirmed an acute rise in markers of blood coagulation, blood pressure and other risk factors, some of which persisted out to 6 months. We are currently recruiting for a novel interventional study using a similar population, who will receive low-dose beta blocker and antiplatelet therapy to mitigate cardiovascular risk. The student will undertake the laboratory analysis for this study, using a variety of established flow cytometric and biochemical methods in our laboratory. They can also develop skills in cardiac electrophysiology and the use of psychological assessment tools
Techniques for this project include:
- Measurement of coagulation factors using standard assays and novel global assays of fibrin and thrombin generation
- Flow cytometric analysis of platelet and leukocyte activation, including microparticle formation
- Biochemical methods including ELISAs and multiplex bead assays for soluble risk factors
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The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is: 1394
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