The Oxford Valvular Heart Disease Population Study (OxVALVE) was established in 2009 because Valvular Heart disease (VHD) is poorly researched in comparison with other heart disease. We want to discover, via a screening programme of adults aged 65 or over, whether early detection and treatment of VHD may improve the care pathways and health of patients in the long term.

In order to study this, we need to identify people who have early signs of VHD. Additionally, we will seek participants’ views on the acceptability of the screening process. This will help us to respond to patients’ needs in future screening programmes.


  • To identify, via a screening program based in GP surgeries, what proportion of the population over 65 years of age within Oxfordshire have VHD.
  • To find out whether this screening process is acceptable to patients.
  • In the long term, we hope to be able to study VHD more closely and eventually to improve treatment and outcomes.

Cohort Description:

  • Established in Aug 2009, with a planned target size of 5,000 participants.
  • More than 2,700 individuals have been enrolled.
  • The cohort consists of volunteers over the age of 65, with no known VHD, who are enrolled from 5 GP surgeries within Oxfordshire.
  • Demographics and a medical history are obtained and a screening Echocardiogram performed on each subject.
  • Blood samples are obtained for future research / DNA analysis.
  • 47% uptake of the screening programme, ratio male to female 1:1.


  • Valvular Heart Disease (VHD) has been detected in 35% overall with strong age-relation (71% in over 85’s).
  • Echo screening for VHD has been proven to be both feasible and acceptable to patients with VHD affecting 45% of the population over 65 years of age of which less than 5% of these cases are moderate or severe.


  • Clinical Cardiovascular Research Facility (CCRF), University of Oxford
  • GE Healthcare.
  • NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre.
  • School for Primary Care Research.

Principal Investigator:

Dr Bernard Prendergast.


Want to know more about the project?  Click here.


Address: The OxVALVE Study Office, Room B15, Level 0, Cardiac Investigation Annexe, John Radcliffe Hospital, Headington, Oxford OX3 9DU Phone: 01865 228927 Fax: (01865) 228989