Research takes diabetes to heart

Heart disease will shorten the lives of many people living with type 2 diabetes by almost a decade, however new research supported by Diabetes Australia could pave the way to earlier identification and earlier treatment.

Dr Kwok Leung Ong, from the University of NSW, is leading the study to identify biomarkers, detectable characteristics, that could help identify people with type 2 diabetes who are at a higher risk of heart disease.

We know that people with type 2 diabetes are at higher risk of heart disease and heart disease is the major cause of death in people with diabetes,” Dr Ong said.

“But if we can identify people with type 2 diabetes who are most likely to develop heart disease then that can help health professionals target preventive lifestyle interventions and/or treatments which can help lower their risk.

“My study will be targeting lipoproteins that transport cholesterol in the blood. In particular molecules within these lipoproteins. This could lead the way to developing a test for these molecules.

“If the individual has them, then health professionals can work with them to lower their risk.”

Dr Ong’s research is one of 13 studies being funded across New South Wales and ACT in 2018 by the Diabetes Australia Research Program.

Find out how you can support the program here.