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University Centre Professor leads the way in prevention of heart disease

A University Centre Shrewsbury Professor is leading the way in the global prevention of heart disease. Professor John Buckley is sharing expertise on an international scale to help to stop heart disease and ensure people with the condition are given comprehensive support to recover.

The academic played an important role this autumn at China's largest annual cardiology conference, the Great Wall International Congress of Cardiology, in Beijing.

As Chair of the International Council for Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation (ICCPR), Prof Buckley presented his research group's work from the past four years. He also co-chaired a meeting with Dr Dayi Hu, who is a health advisor to the Chinese Government, on Cardiovascular Disease Prevention and Rehabilitation Developments in the Asia-Pacific Region. Dr Hu has also been President of the Chinese Society of Cardiology.

Prof Buckley said: "Cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death in both women and men globally and is a growing epidemic in low-to-middle-income countries.

"We need to combine efforts across the world to promote cardiovascular disease prevention and rehabilitation.

"In addition to the health benefits, in terms of cost savings, prevention is better than cure.

"In China there are only 200 cardiac rehabilitation programmes for one-and-a-half billion people. To put this into perspective, in the UK we have 350 cardiac rehabilitation programmes for a population of around 60 million.

"The aim for China is to grow to having 1,000 cardiac rehabilitation programmes in the next few years. They are looking for expertise from experienced professionals to help provide training, education and research to reach this goal. This could certainly put University Centre Shrewsbury on the map for cardiovascular healthcare training."

As part of his 26 years' experience, Prof Buckley has helped to create Shropshire services to improve health. The Professor of Applied Exercise Science has worked with partners to run the Lifestyle Fitness Centre at Radbrook Green for 21 years; to create Shropshire's Exercise Referral Scheme; design and manage the Exercise for Health and Rehabilitation Centre at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, and provide physiotherapy at four Shrewsbury GP practices.

Prof Buckley now leads Bachelor of Science in Health and Exercise Science and Master of Science in Exercise Medicine courses at University Centre Shrewsbury.

Prior to his role at the University Centre, he also lectured at the School of Physiotherapy at Oswestry, Keele University and the University of Chester.

The Great Wall International Congress of Cardiology, Asia Pacific Heart Congress 2015 and International Congress of Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation took place from October 29 to November 1. It is one of the largest congresses in the Asia-Pacific region and most comprehensive and influential academic conferences on cardiology.

Prof Buckley was appointed founding Chair of the ICCPR in 2012. The ICCPR is an associate international group of the World Heart Federation linked with the World Health Organisation. The Council represents 24 countries from six continents. The group has published an International Charter on the Prevention and Rehabilitation of Cardiovascular Disease.

Prof Buckley was also the President of the British Association for Cardiovascular Rehabilitation between 2009 and 2011, and held the position of Exercise Physiologist at the National McArdle Neuromuscular Disease Clinic at the Oswestry Orthopaedic and more recently at University College Hospital London, from 1999 to 2013.

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