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Prevention of risk factors for heart disease in early life

Dr Rachel Climie, Institution: University of Tasmania

2021 Future Leader Fellowship (Honorary Fellowship)   

Years funded: 2022-2025  

The origins of heart disease begin in childhood. Alarmingly, 25% of Australian children are overweight or obese and 75% of children are not meeting physical activity recommendations – these statistics are worse in children from socially disadvantaged areas. Thus, there is a need to identify factors that contribute to cardiovascular health (CVH) in childhood; establish ways to detect risk earlier; and develop effective strategies to improve CVH in childhood.

Dr Rachel Climie's research will address these evidence gaps by: 

  1. Elucidating the determinants and outcomes of CVH in early childhood, including the role of socioeconomic status (SES); 
  2. Establishing world-first, internationally appropriate tools to quantify early risk; 
  3. Co-designing with stakeholders an intervention to improve CVH in disadvantaged areas. 

Together, this research will identify novel modifiable targets, develop new tools, and inform strategies that lessen the impact of socioeconomic disparities in early life and reduce the burden of heart disease.

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