After my 4th Year, I took part in the Keele ASPIRE Summer Studentship 2017. I conducted a project entitled ‘Marital status and risk of cardiovascular diseases: a systematic review and meta-analysis’ under the supervision of Dr Chun Shing Kwok and Professor Mamas A Mamas.
Our analysis of thirty-four studies found that, compared with married individuals, being unmarried (never married, divorced or widowed) was associated with increased incidence of coronary heart disease (CHD) and death from both CHD and stroke. In addition, single patients who suffered a heart attack had greater mortality than married patients. These findings may suggest that marital status should be considered in the risk assessment of cardiovascular diseases and additional support should be provided if necessary.
The research was selected for oral presentation at the ASPIRE Research Showcase 2017 and I was delighted when the study was accepted for publication in the Heart journal, a reputable journal for Cardiology and Cardiovascular medicine.
Throughout this project, I gained practical experience in writing a research proposal, performing literature searches, using statistical analysis software for data analysis and writing a research paper. Publishing a paper during my undergraduate degree was challenging, but rewarding and I am grateful for the support received from my dedicated supervisors and the platform provided by Keele University. I would strongly recommend any students to apply for the ASPIRE studentship to explore their interest in research.
Chun Wai Wong, Year 5 Medical Student