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COVID researchThe Institute is harnessing its expertise in cardiovascular disease, diabetes and related conditions to better understand the long-term cardiometabolic implications of COVID-19. This includes looking at the impact of COVID on the heart, blood vessels and lungs of people who have had the infection, as well as how people with existing diseases such as type 2 diabetes coped with COVID-19 restrictions. The Institute is conducting a number of important studies in this area. These include:

Breathlessness in patients who have recovered from COVID infection
Cardiologist and researcher at the Baker Institute and Alfred Hospital, Professor David Kaye is investigating damage to the blood vessels in the lungs (pulmonary arteries) and the heart, and how this might contribute to ongoing breathless, which is the most common persistent symptom after COVID-19. Professor Kaye’s team will measure the function of the heart, and the pressures within the heart and pulmonary arteries, at rest and during exercise in COVID-recoverees.
This work is funded by the Heart Foundation.

Persistent cardiovascular effects of COVID-19 (PERCEIVE) study
Cardiologist and researcher Professor Tom Marwick and cardiovascular researcher Dr Erin Howden are leading the PERCEIVE study to investigate the damage that COVID-19 does to the heart’s chambers and blood vessels, and how this damage can affect long-term cardiovascular function. This will involve testing 300 people who have recovered from COVID-19. The findings will contribute to new ways of detecting and managing these complications.
This work is funded by the Heart Foundation and the Baker Department of Cardiometabolic Health.

Use of cardioprotective therapy to manage persistent cardiovascular effects of COVID-19: a pathway to recognition and treatment of subclinical disease
Cardiologist and researcher Professor Tom Marwick and cardiovascular researcher Dr Erin Howden are investigating manifestations of COVID-19 in the heart and testing potential cardioprotective therapies to prevent and manage persistent cardiovascular effects of the virus. This multicentre, randomised, controlled trial will involve more than 820 people who have had COVID-19 and will test how targeted therapeutic interventions — including the use of ‘exercise as medicine’ — might help protect the heart from the long-term impacts of COVID-19. This project involves a multidisciplinary team spanning cardiology, exercise science, imaging, epidemiology and health economics, with a range of collaborators, including from the University of Melbourne.
It has received $2.5 million in funding as part of the Medical Research Future Fund’s Clinical Trials Activity Initiative.

Progression of diabetic complications (PREDICT) study
The Institute’s PREDICT study, which examines the complications arising from type 2 diabetes and their prevention, is being expanded to assess the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on people living with diabetes. This important study is being led by diabetes clinician and researcher, Professor Jonathan Shaw. It is hoped the data will be used to determine and then mitigate the impact of pandemic restrictions on wider health outcomes for the more than 1.2 million Australians living with type 2 diabetes.
This study is supported by the Baker Department of Cardiometabolic Health.

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With the rising number of Australians affected by diabetes, heart disease and stroke, the need for research is more critical than ever.

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