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Vascular ageing and cardiometabolic disease in high-risk populations
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Vascular ageing and cardiometabolic disease in high-risk populations

Dr Rachel Climie, Institution: University of Tasmania

2019 Postdoctoral Fellowship

Years funded: 2020-2021


Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death and disease worldwide. Thus, prevention of CVD is a public health priority, and identifying those at increased CVD risk in the early stages of disease is important for minimising the associated health risks.  The ageing of the large arteries, termed vascular ageing, is a marker of cardiovascular risk burden on the blood vessels over time, and early vascular ageing is a risk factor for CVD. Importantly, cancer survivors are at elevated risk of CVD complications compared to the general population, impacting long-term health status, quality of life and survival. However, it is unknown which biomarkers of vascular ageing have the strongest value for predicting organ damage, CVD and death and how these markers differ in the presence of common cancers.

The aims of this research program are:

To determine the prospective value of new vascular ageing biomarkers, beyond common CVD risk factors, for early detection and management of organ damage and disease, and prevention of early CVD related death.

To determine whether patients with breast and hematological cancer display early vascular aging and the effect of anti-neoplastic therapies on the blood vessels.

This research project will provide new evidence on the role of vascular ageing for early detection and management of organ damage and disease, and prevention of premature cardiovascular-related death. It will provide insight into the potential mechanisms contributing to increased CVD risk in patients with cancer, and targets for future interventions that aim to slow vascular ageing, preserve cardiovascular function and improve quality of life in this population.

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