Diabetes is the biggest challenge confronting Australia’s health system.

Approximately 850,000 Australians are living with type 2 diabetes and a further 500,000 people are estimated to be undiagnosed. This has the potential to create a tsunami of heart disease in coming years.

Diabetes is a major precursor of cardiovascular disease. People with diabetes are 3 to 4 times more likely than non-diabetics to develop cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack, stroke and angina. In severe cases, common circulatory problems, which narrow the arteries and reduce blood flow to the limbs, can lead to amputation.  

In Australia a limb is lost every three hours to diabetes-related complications. Many diabetic patients will require multiple amputations.  

Now, breakthrough research from the HRI offers the potential for the development of a new treatment for Australians with diabetes who are at risk of having their limbs amputated. We have discovered that a molecule that kills cancer cells can also save diabetics and heart patients from limb amputation. This new drug could protect people with diabetes from developing gangrene, and spare them from the amputations they so often have to face. Such a treatment would mean people with diabetes wouldn’t have to have limbs removed and would be able to live a longer and more fulfilling life. 

Will you help us reach this goal? 

We have found that when injected directly into the muscle, this new drug can stimulate blood vessel growth and dramatically improve blood flow to the legs. This suggests that we have the beginnings of a new gene therapy that could be injected straight into the muscle of patients, bypassing the blockage and promoting the development of new blood vessels. 

This exciting discovery means we may soon have a far superior treatment option to surgery and amputation. Imagine if you could save a person from having their foot or leg amputated. Imagine what that would mean for their quality of life.  

Thank you for your generosity in the past. Now, we need you again to improve more lives. 

yes i will help

Nobody wants to face the risk of amputation. Your donation will help us ensure no one you love ever will. It's only with the help of supporters like you that our researchers can better understand cardiovascular disease and improve the treatment options available to all Australians.  

You can play a part in reducing your risk of type 2 diabetes by maintaining a healthy weight, being physically active and following a healthy eating plan. Check out this healthy recipe from from our resident nutritionist, Kate Freeman.