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Team to study cardiovascular complications of diabetes


London, ON – The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) has announced funding totaling nearly $1.9 million for a 5-year project that brings together researchers from Canada and Finland to study whether exercise could prevent the onset, or modify the risk of cardiovascular complications (CVCs) in susceptible persons.

The 19-member team is led by Dr Robert Petrella, a Lawson Health Research Institute Scientist and professor of family medicine at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry at the University of Western Ontario.

“A major objective in this proposal is to identify and then to prevent and treat early markers of CVCs in patients at risk for, or with, diabetes, says Dr Petrella. While there is intense interest in identifying and modifying risk factors at the onset of CVCs in diabetes, the exact biological mechanisms, their measurement, and broader social determinants governing CVCs of diabetes, including optimal ways to prevent or manage them, are still poorly understood.

The project also received grants from the Heart & Stroke Foundation and the Canadian Diabetes Association to bring the total 5-year funding to $3.8 million. The team includes 12 London researchers from Lawson, Schulich Medicine & Dentistry, Robarts Research Institute, and Faculty of Health Sciences, and seven from Finland.