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Fructose and the heart: targeting novel mechanisms of diabetic cardiomyopathy

55 months
Approved budget:
Dr Kim Mellor
Health issue:
Proposal type:
Lay summary
Diabetes is epidemic and has been linked with excess dietary intake of fructose. The diabetes prevalence and mortality rate in New Zealand is rising dramatically and is disproportionately high in Maori populations. More than 80% of diabetic patients have heart failure, and it is clear that heart abnormalities in diabetic patients are distinctive from those observed in non-diabetes – and a specific treatment is urgently required. Our studies suggest that fructose sugar may be a key instigator of heart damage in diabetes. In this project proposal, our goal is to fully characterise the pathways of fructose-induced heart injury and test novel interventions to rescue heart dysfunction in diabetes. This research aims to produce a significant advance in knowledge in the science underpinning the epidemic of diabetes-associated heart failure and identify new treatment strategies to achieve health benefits for New Zealand’s most vulnerable cardiovascular risk demographic.