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Developing a simple blood test to check heart health for people with diabetes

Professor Leanne Delbridge, Institution: The University of Melbourne

2021 Vanguard Grant  

Years funded: 2022-2023  

Diabetes is an escalating pandemic. Globally, more than 450 million people currently live with diabetes. By 2045 the estimate is near 700 million. Diabetic heart disease is recognised as a distinct pathology. In diabetes there is a long period of ‘silent’ cardiac damage before symptoms emerge. Cardiac dysfunction diagnosis in diabetic patients is typically at the heart failure stage where the pathology is advanced, and imaging confirms what is already symptomatic. For 50 years it has been known that women with diabetes have dramatically increased cardiac vulnerability compared with men (5-fold vs 2.5-fold failure risk), which is not explained by differential blood glucose elevation. There is currently no blood test which identifies early cardiac jeopardy in diabetes. Professor Leanne Delbridge's project will advance the validation of a novel blood ‘biomarker’ test to diagnose early and advancing cardiac vulnerability for people with diabetes. In particular, this mass spectrometry-based diagnostic tool will be optimized for gender specificity.

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