Obesity and cardiovascular disease

Years funded:
2016 - 2018

Obesity is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease and death.

The incidence of obesity is rising and cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death in Australia.

Areas within the blood vessels of the heart can be susceptible to rupture, block off and cause heart attacks - these are called vulnerable plaques and obese patients have a greater number of these.

Obesity also causes major detrimental alterations to the heart chambers and function.

The blood vessel architecture can be accurately assessed by CT-scanning, and the heart function by ultrasound.

Active weight loss has some improvement on cardiovascular health in patients for the prevention of heart disease - but it is not known whether weight loss can reduce vulnerable plaques or ameliorate deteriorating heart function in patients who have suffered a heart attack.

This study aims to investigate this by non-invasively studying all patients with heart attacks and performing a trial of purposeful weight loss against routine care in post-heart attack patients.

The potential outcome is a reduction in the volume of vulnerable plaques, and an improvement in heart function to firstly prevent further heart attacks and secondly to improve morbidity and mortality rates.

Researcher Profile

Dr Nitesh Nerlekar

Institute: Monash University
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