Bench-to-bedside approach to improving management and outcomes for patients with heart failure

Years funded:
2018 - 2021

Heart failure (HF) is the commonest and most disabling form of chronic cardiovascular disease with up to half of patients having the specific problem of heart muscle relaxation. 

There is no effective therapy for this type of heart failure. Statistically, HF patients are three times more likely to die within three years than those diagnosed with cancer. 

The burden of HF is rapidly increasing due to increased prevalence of diabetes, obesity and metabolic syndrome. 

With an overall aim of improving management and outcomes for patients with heart failure, Associate Professor Aaron Sverdlov’s research program has 3 interrelated themes: 
1. BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF MECHANISMS UNDERLYING HEART FAILURE DUE TO OBESITY: We will dissect whether a modification of proteins in energy centres of the cells are responsible for heart dysfunction in HF. 
Outcomes: better understanding of mechanisms involved. This can lead to development of new targeted therapies for this form of heart failure, which does not have any effective therapies. 

2. NOVEL BIOMARKERS FOR EARLY DETECTION OF CARDIAC ABNORMALITIES: Associate Professor Sverdlov has described a novel biomarker for heart thickening and scarring (FSTL3). He will examine its prognostic utility in 1) patients with obesity and 2) patients undergoing chemotherapy that is toxic to the heart. 
Outcomes: As early diagnosis and treatment are the cornerstone of improved health outcomes, FSTL3 may be a valuable tool for doctors to detect heart abnormalities early and initiate preventative treatment 

3. INTENSIVE WEIGHT LOSS PROGRAM TO IMPROVE OUTCOMES IN HEART FAILURE PATIENTS. We will investigate if intensive weight loss program as part of heart failure service improves patient outcomes including hospitalizations, cardiac function and quality of life. 
Outcomes: improved weight loss and hence heart function in reginal and rural heart failure patients.

Researcher Profile

Associate Professor Aaron Sverdlov

Institute: The University of Newcastle
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