More than 60% of Australians are overweight or obese and Australia’s fastest growing chronic disease is diabetes. Risk factors such as these are major precursors to cardiovascular disease, Australia’s number one killer. At HRI, we’re working to prevent death and suffering from cardiovascular disease.
My family has a history of heart disease. My siblings and I are acutely aware of the risk factors.

Did you know?

90% of Australian adults have at least one modifiable risk factor for heart disease.

Smoking, drinking, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, an unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and obesity are all associated with cardiovascular disease.

Smokers are about 4 times more likely to die from heart disease than non-smokers.

And passive smoking is linked to an increased risk of dying from heart disease.

Diabetes is Australia’s fastest growing chronic disease

The Australian Diabetes Council estimates 3.6 million Australians now have diabetes or pre-diabetes. One person is diagnosed with diabetes every 5 minutes.

How our research is preventing heart disease

Unravelling the link between diabetes and cardiovascular disease

Researchers at The Heart Research Institute are the first in the world to uncover a link between diabetes and cardiovascular disease, a discovery that has the potential to save millions of lives. With these findings from Translational and Bioengineering Group, we hope to discover a way to help prevent damage to cells and cell death, and provide new treatment for vascular complications of diabetes.

Read more

Understanding the causes of preeclampsia

If you’re a woman with children, you’ve probably heard about preeclampsia: it’s a disease of high blood pressure during pregnancy, affecting around 3-5% of all pregnancies and is life-threatening for both mother and the unborn child. Our Vascular Immunology Group at the Heart Research Institute has a principal interest in understanding the causes and progression of preeclampsia. New work by Dr Bei Xu from the Vascular Immunology Group has investigated events which occur early in pregnancy, as the placenta establishes the ood source for the growing embryo.

Read more

Why are smokers more likely to get heart disease?

Atherosclerosis (narrowing and blockage of arteries) is four times more prevalent in people who smoke, resulting in far more deaths from coronary heart disease in smokers than non-smokers. Although it is well established that smoking independently increases the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, the reasons are not well understood. Research by the Inflammation Group is shining a light on this.

Read more