New research could help treat heart disease

New research could help treat heart disease

One of the major complications associated with type 2 diabetes is cardiovascular disease. In fact, the risk of heart disease more than doubles for someone with type 2 diabetes.

This is why the Diabetes Australia Research Trust is supporting Associate Professor Rebecca Ritchie from the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute in her research into new treatments that will help treat heart disease for people with diabetes.

“People with type 2 diabetes are up to four times more likely to die from heart failure,” Associate Professor Ritchie says. “That’s what makes this area of research so important.”

“One of the most common types of heart disease for people with type 2 diabetes is diastolic heart disease. This is a type of heart failure, which is detected in at least half of people even if their diabetes, and their blood pressure, is well-managed. These people often don’t show any obvious symptoms or signs of heart failure .”

Diastolic heart disease involves the decreased performance of one of the chambers of the heart (called the left ventricle), in which the filling of the heart with blood after each beat is slower, which can lead to less blood being pumped around the body.

Associate Professor Ritchie says there is a recently-released new type of heart drug that has already been through clinical trials. This has been developed for treating people with acute heart failure.

“We think that this new treatment could also be good news for people with diabetes,” she said

“We are going to start by testing it in longer-term pre-clinical studies to see if it can effectively treat diabetes-induced diastolic heart disease, before hopefully moving on to clinical trials.

“There is a long way to go but I’m hopeful that this research could make a real difference to the lives of people with type 2 diabetes.

“I’d like to thank the Diabetes Australia Research Trust for their grant which helps make research like this possible.”