The Lancet describes Cambridge Heart Clinic cardiologist, Dr. Andrew Grace, as “one of the world’s leading heart rhythm specialists”

Cambridge, United Kingdom, 20 November, 2012: Cambridge Heart Clinic, a specialist private patient cardiology clinic based in Addenbrooke’s hospital, today announced that Dr. Andrew Grace, a cardiologist that practices at the Cambridge Heart Clinic, has been described by The Lancet as “one of the world’s leading heart rhythm specialists”.

Dr. Andrew Grace is the lead author of a new Lancet Series exploring the latest developments in the diagnosis, treatment and biology of cardiac arrhythmias ahead of the American Heart Association’s annual meeting, taking place in Los Angeles from 3-7 November.

Arrhythmias are problems with the heartbeat’s rate or rhythm, where the heart beats too quickly, too slowly or with an irregular rhythm. They are thought to affect over one million people in the UK, and are one of the top ten reasons for hospital admissions. Arrhythmias can disrupt the heart’s ability to pump enough blood to circulate around the body, untreated, the resulting lack in blood flow can damage the brain, heart and other organs.

Dr. Grace said: “The progress in cardiology in general in the last twenty years has been remarkable and today cardiac electrophysiology, which not so long ago was essentially diagnostic, is now often curative. The current landscape in arrhythmia management would be unrecognisable to practitioners twenty years ago.” He added: “Although we have made massive strides both in our understanding and treatment of arrhythmias, there are still gaps. For example, drug treatment remains an issue: the drugs are variably effective and do have side effects.”

Dr. Grace says he sees the risk profile of his patients changing with the increasing numbers experiencing atrial fibrillation only partly explained by ageing. Accordingly, a current focus of his research is on the metabolic basis of arrhythmia. He said: “Obesity, diabetes and hypertension need to be controlled if we want to curb this growth. Looking to the future I see both opportunities and challenges ahead. Arrhythmia management has been transformed by the application of technology but to provide effective therapy for all our patients we will need to work harder to understand mechanisms.”

A Lancet editorial accompanying the series ends with the conclusion: “With the expected rapid advances in understanding and further translation of molecular evidence, better treatment of cardiac arrhythmias and higher rates of prevention of sudden cardiac death are likely in the not too distant future.”

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