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Aldosterone and the heart

Professor Trevor Mori, Institution: University of Western Australia

2018 Vanguard Grant

Years funded: 2019-2020


Adosterone is an important hormone that controls salt and water balance, but too much aldosterone is harmful to the heart, blood vessels, kidneys and brain.  People with high blood aldosterone levels, known as primary aldosteronism, develop high blood pressure and carry a higher risk of stroke and heart attack than those with high blood pressure alone. The increase in aldosterone may occur before the onset of high blood pressure, as demonstrated in a study of over 800 patients aged 45-84 years; however, we do not know whether these high aldosterone levels develop earlier in life, whether they are a common cause or precursor of hypertension, and if mild increases in aldosterone cause abnormalities of the heart and blood vessels. 

To address these questions, we will analyse a unique set of samples from participants in the Western Australian Pregnancy Cohort (Raine) Study which has one of the world’s largest successful groups of individuals followed from birth to early adulthood.

This study proposes to measure the aldosterone level in stored blood samples from approximately 1200 adolescents aged 17 and correlate them with early life factors and markers of heart, kidney and blood vessel injury. 

Our research will define how aldosterone may increase the risk for heart disease from a young age and therefore allow early intervention targeted at children and adolescents to minimise the risk of developing heart disease in later life.

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