The difference you’ve made for Aussie hearts

You made it! You survived No Junk November! We are so proud of you and your own heart thanks you. Not only have you loosened the grip junk food has on your life, you have tried out a new healthy eating pattern that you can now follow all year round.

To top this off, you have become a crucial part of the Heart Foundation’s efforts to save lives by contributing to our multimillion dollar boost to fight heart disease. Your No Junk November fundraising dollars will now allow Australia’s most talented researchers to keep their heads down and push on with efforts in prevention, treatment and cure. To determine not only what puts hearts at risk of disease, but how to fix them when they are broken.

The Heart Foundation this month offered 79 new awards to support Australia’s best and brightest researchers to investigate the causes, treatment and prevention of heart, stroke and blood vessel disease.

It is part of our commitment to inject $50 million into heart research over the next three years.

Around Australia, new projects our researchers are working on include:

  • over-consumption of sugary drinks
  • link between social isolation and cardiovascular disease
  • online support for obese teenagers
  • searching for a curable cause of high blood pressure
  • therapeutic and diagnostic techniques via molecular ultrasound imaging
  • testing innovative, low-cost and rapid echocardiography to screen school children for rheumatic heart disease.

Locally in WA, our researchers are already working to determine:

  • if relaxation can reduce stress-induced eating
  • the impact of exercise on the function of arteries and platelets and reducing cardiovascular disease
  • benefits to the heart of exercising in the water
  • how to use stem cells to repair damaged heart tissue
  • how to create childcare environments – at home and in childcare – that support physical activity and promote heart health
  • ways to improve cardiovascular health to reduce the difference in life expectancy between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

Key achievements by cardiovascular research supported earlier by the Heart Foundation includes demonstrating that passive smoke leads to risk of heart disease and the establishment of Australia’s first mobile intensive care ambulances.

We still have much more to do and many more projects to fund. There were 376 applications for the 79 awards and funding recently given to heart researchers.

Heart disease still remains the single leading cause of death in Australia. In 2016, heart disease was attributable to nearly 35,000 deaths, and 640,000 Australians live with heart disease every day.