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Imaging and genetic predictors of small heart size and heart failure

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Imaging and genetic predictors of small heart size and heart failure

Dr Stephanie Rowe, The University of Melbourne

2023 PhD Scholarships

Years funded: 2024 - 2026

Emerging evidence suggests that exercise capacity and heart size play a critical role in heart failure development. The relationship between an enlarged heart, improved fitness and improved clinical outcomes is well-described from studies of athletes, however less emphasis is placed on the sedentary end of the spectrum which is associated with an increased risk of heart failure and death. Recently, sedentary behaviour has been linked to small heart size and low fitness, but how small heart size relates to poorer outcomes has not been investigated. Through the use of three distinct cohorts including two ‘big data’ resources, we aim to establish the critical association between small heart size, heart failure and mortality as well as an understanding of how our genetic signature may alter this risk. This research will explore this novel relationship with the expected outcomes of identifying simple ways to identify patients at risk of heart failure and enable preventive treatment strategies directed at those in greatest need.

Last updated12 March 2024