To date, epidemiological studies on degenerative mitral valve disease (DMVD) in dogs have largely reported referral caseloads or been limited to predisposed breeds. We are pleased to announce that a study undertaken by Maddy Mattin as part of her ongoing PhD studies within the VetCompass Programme has just been published (Open Access) in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine and should help to redress knowledge gaps regarding DMVD in a wider canine population:
Prevalence of and risk factors for degenerative Mitral Valve Disease in dogs attending primary-care veterinary practices in England. Mattin MJ, Boswood A, Church DB, López-Alvarez J, McGreevy PD, O'Neill DG, Thomson PC, Brodbelt DC. (2015) Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine
In this study electronic patient record (EPR) data was used to estimate the prevalence of DMVD in dogs attending primary-care veterinary practices in England, and to identify risk factors for the condition in this population. Based on data from 111,967 dogs from 93 participating clinics DMVD appeared to be a common disorder in practice-attending dogs: 405 dogs were diagnosed with DMVD (diagnosed cases) and a further 3,557 dogs had a heart murmur consistent with DMVD (possible cases). Male dogs, those under 20kg bodyweight and insured dogs demonstrated increased odds of DMVD diagnosis compared to female, heavier and uninsured dogs. Strong associations were identified between DMVD diagnosis and individual breeds, with increasing age another important factor. Findings from this study can help clinicians to identify high-risk individuals for DMVD, improve clinical diagnosis and direct future research. Identification of potential breed-associations can also inform breed-specific health surveillance or screening policies.
Congratulations to Maddy on an important publication, which has already generated international interest!
Our thanks go to the pets, owners and clinicians involved in clinical data sharing for VetCompass research purposes, with special thanks to the Pet Plan Charitable Trust for funding Maddy in her PhD studies.