BRAINIACS at the town's university want people to give blood to help fight the world's leading cause of death.

Volunteers are being sought to donate blood samples for a new heart disease study, which looks at how things like blood cholesterol affect a person's risk of heart attacks or strokes.

The research, funded by the British Heart Foundation, aims to discover why people's blood platelets respond to blood vessel damage and drugs differently to others.

A spokesman said: "Platelets are tiny blood cells that respond rapidly when we cut ourselves or damage our blood vessels by sticking together and forming a blood clot to prevent bleeding.

"However, in some cases, large clots can block blood vessels in the heart or brain, causing a heart attack or stroke.

"Anti-platelet medication has been effective in recent years in preventing clots, yet heart disease remains one of the biggest causes of death in the UK – causing around 200,000 deaths each year – and many questions remain about how best to prevent it.

"Blood samples from volunteers are needed to help answer these questions. Scientists in the University’s Institute of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Research will examine whether a person’s hormones, blood cholesterol or insulin sensitivity, among other factors, affects their platelet response, and which medication would be most effective for them."

To sign up, call call 0118 378 7096 or email

Volunteers must be a non-smoking man or woman aged 30-65, who is not diabetic or taking medication for cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure or inflammatory conditions.