$450,000 Research Fellowship for healthy hearts
Tuesday, 8 November 2011
Dr Lisa Moran from the University's Robinson Institute and School of Paediatrics and Reproductive Health will spend the next three years assessing lifestyle options during pregnancy that can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity and diabetes.
The Heart Foundation and SA Health will fund Dr Moran's research after awarding her one of two SA Cardiovascular Research Development Program Fellowships for 2012.
"Cardiovascular disease and diabetes have been identified as key priority areas for women's health in Australia, and obesity is associated with an increased risk of both these conditions," says Dr Moran.
"Women of reproductive age are especially at high risk of obesity. Our goal is to facilitate lifestyle changes that ensure they maintain a healthy diet during this period and do not gain excess weight."
There is also a high chance of obese women giving birth to children who are then at greater risk of these diseases, Dr Moran says.
"Putting on excess weight in pregnancy often leads to gestational diabetes and type 2 diabetes which are precursors to heart disease."
Up to 8% of pregnant women in Australia develop gestational diabetes in the third trimester of their pregnancy, but the most alarming statistics concern type 2 diabetes, which now affects more than 780,000 people across the country, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in Australia, killing more than 22,000 people each year due to conditions such as angina, blocked arteries and heart attacks.
Dr Amanda Rischbieth, Heart Foundation Chief Executive, said: "This funding will help stimulate and enhance the local research community in South Australia, and we are thrilled to support such a high quality project. Dr Moran's research will no doubt lead to improvements in heart health."
Dr Moran was a finalist in this year's South Australian Tall Poppy Awards which recognise and celebrate intellectual and scientific excellence among the State's young researchers.
She has extensive experience in assessment and treatment of the causes of infertility among women and is an expert in polycystic ovary syndrome which has also been linked to obesity.
School of Paediatrics & Reproductive Health
University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 1352
Mobile: 0401 963 713
Mr David Ellis
Deputy Director, Media and Corporate Relations
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 5414
Mobile: +61 (0)421 612 762