A national burden

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the biggest killer in Australia, claiming one life every twelve minutes. With an ageing population and improved treatments, the number of people living with cardiovascular disease is increasing.

CVD encompasses diseases of the heart and blood vessels, including stroke. There is a range of risk factors, including low birth weight, inflammation, high blood pressure, obesity, smoking, poor diet, insufficient exercise, and too much sitting. CVD also has interactions with other chronic diseases. For example, it is known that people with diabetes and kidney disease have an increased risk of developing CVD.

Translational research

UQ researchers at the Princess Alexandra Hospital, The Prince Charles Hospital, Mater Hospital, and the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital are working to better understand, reduce the risk and improve the management of CVD.

The UQ Cardiac and Vascular Biology Centre (CCVB) brings together researchers from The University of Queensland with a common goal, to investigate vertebrate cardiac and vascular biology with a focus on development, regeneration and disease.

The Centre for Research Excellence in Advanced Cardio-respiratory Therapies Improving Organ Support was launched in 2016 and aims to influence policy on the development of Mechanical Assist Devices (MADs) and Ventricular Assist Devices (VADs).

The UQ Centre for Kidney Disease Research (CKDR) is one of Australia's leading kidney disease research centres with an international reputation for excellence in research. The researchers of the CKDR are working at the forefront of global trends in research to trial new clinical treatments and to understand the cellular and molecular basis of kidney disease. In this way we are aiming to improve kidney and general health of adults and children.  Renowned for its studies in acute and chronic kidney disease and kidney cancers, the CKDR has particular expertise in translating results from laboratory and clinical sciences for application to improve public health outcomes.

Our public health research (LINK) focuses on the prevention of premature morbidity and mortality through the promotion of healthy lifestyle choices in local, national, and global settings. Randomised trials and long-running observational studies are used to provide the evidence base to inform public health policy and practice. Targeted health areas include obesity; cancer; nutrition, physical activity/sedentary behavior. Our research, which focuses on the importance of regularly interrupting sitting time for heart health, is now being incorporated into public health guidelines in Australia and overseas. Furthermore, we have collected data showing how low birth weight in babies predisposes the individual to premature onset of chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease.

These are just some of the ways UQ is working to raise awareness and developing solutions to battle CVD in Australia.

Cardiovascular risk factors research leaders