Facebook campaign leads to heart health insights

A two year research project, funded by national heart charity Heart Research UK and healthcare provider Simplyhealth, is gaining real insight into the link between dental health and heart health, as it presents its findings to 19,000 delegates from across the world at the American Heart Association annual meeting in Chicago today (18 November 2014). At the same time a full scientific paper of the data will be published online in the medical journal The Lancet.

The findings, led by the University of Sheffield’s School of Clinical Dentistry, found that cases of infective endocarditis, a potentially fatal infection in the heart, have risen significantly since the recommendation by NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) to discontinue giving antibiotics to at risk dental patients came into effect in 2008.

The findings play an important part in the ongoing exploration of the link between dental and heart health. Projects such as this one are vital to the ongoing collation of evidence to support our understanding of how oral health can impact upon the heart and other conditions within the body. We are committed to furthering medical research in the UK and welcome these new findings.
Barbara Harpham, National Director of Heart Research UK

The research was made possible thanks to a donation of £150,000 by healthcare provider Simplyhealth, to Heart Research UK in 2012, following the providers first integrated media campaign which used TV and radio advertising, social media and PR, to raise awareness of the potential link between poor oral health and cardiovascular disease.

Howard Hughes, Head of Marketing Communications
The results of this project show just how important it is that organisations like Heart Research UK receive the funding that they need to commission potentially life changing research such as this. We knew that our Facebook campaign back in 2012, where every ‘Like’ we received during the campaign period meant that we donated £1 to Heart Research UK, was just the start. Initially a one year study, the insights discovered in these preliminary results by the research team, has meant that the project has been granted a year extension to further investigate this area. We await with interest the feedback from the international scientific community on the findings.
Howard Hughes, Head of Marketing Communications

The charity gave £98,802 to the University of Sheffield to study the link between dental health and cardiovascular disease. Following a competitive tender for the available funds, a panel of renowned experts including Simplyhealth owned Denplan’s, Deputy Chief Dental Officer Henry Clover, carefully considered over eight project proposals before selecting the University of Sheffield.

The remainder of the funds were used by Heart Research UK to deliver a series of presentations to schoolchildren about the importance of heart health.

Notes to editors

About Simplyhealth

  • Simplyhealth came into being 2009 after bringing together HSA, BCWA, LHF, HealthSure, Totally Active, our family of health companies have joined together over the last ten years to form Simplyhealth
  • In December 2011, they acquired Denplan Limited, the UK's leading dental payment plan specialist
  • They’ve been providing healthcare solutions for over 140 years, dedicated to serving its customers and patients through a variety of cash plans, dental plans, private medical insurance, self funded health plans and mobility and living aids
  • Simplyhealth is a trading name of Simplyhealth Access, which is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.
  • Simplyhealth as it stands today, now covers nearly four million people with health plans (more than any other company) and helps 20,000 companies with their employees’ health
  • Simplyhealth is committed to making a positive impact on its communities. Each year, we donate over £1 million to health related charities and causes

About Heart Research UK

  • Heart Research UK is a visionary charity that has been funding ground-breaking and innovative medical research projects for 45 years since being founded by heart surgeon David Watson.
  • There is a strong emphasis on supporting clinical and surgical projects and young researchers on their first steps into research. The charity currently supports over £4.1m of research projects at 23 hospitals and universities across the UK, funding over £1,060,000 last year alone.
  • The charity also encourages and funds original healthy lifestyle initiatives that explore novel ways of preventing heart disease.
  • Over £1.2m has been awarded over the last 11 years to community based lifestyle projects that aim to prevent or reduce the risks of heart disease.

For further information:

Chris Child, Communications Manager, Heart Research UK or 0113 2976207

Lynsey Thorp, PR Manager, Simplyhealth or 0844 579 2489

Comments (0)
Thank you for your message. It will be posted after approval.