Heart disease: not just a ‘plumbing problem’
Heart disease, which affects one in six Australians, is a result of much more than a ‘plumbing problem’. A typically normal bodily response, inflammation, is often to blame.
Inflammation: best friend and worst enemy
Inflammation generally is our body’s way of self-protecting; of fighting off infection. As plaque develops, the arteries in your heart change shape, causing the creation of inflammatory cells. When these inflammatory cells enter the artery walls of people who smoke, have high blood pressure or suffer from diabetes, they may do the opposite of what they are intended to do.
Understanding what drives inflammation
Much of SAHMRI Heart Health’s research is based around inflammation – better understanding it, better ways of detecting it and ultimately designing improved therapies to treat it.
Professor Nicholls is affiliated with The University of Adelaide.