January 31, 2013
Scientists we fund at the University of Bristol have made a
breakthrough in our understanding of why people with diabetes might
be at higher risk of heart disease.
Thanks to your donations, we are funding a
research team led by Professor Paolo Madeddu looking at the effect
of stem cells on our blood vessels. The team have
discovered that stem cells from the bone marrow, which help repair
blood vessel wear and tear, are not released properly in people
occurs when the level of sugar in the blood is too high. We know
that having diabetes increases heart
disease risk, but we don't fully inderstand the
link. We fund a range of research which is looking to
explain the link between diabetes and heart disease.
Understanding more about injured blood vessel repair will aid in the fight to mend hearts damaged after a heart attack
Other studies we
funded have made links between diabetes and heart disease. For
example, researchers at the University of
have shown that people with diabetes have higher levels
of 'ultrabad' cholesterol
in their blood.
Our Associate Medical Director Professor
Jeremy Pearson said: “Professor Madeddu and his team have shown for
the first time that the bone marrow in patients with diabetes can’t
release stem cells. Stem cells are important for the
repair of blood vessel damage commonly found in
people with the disease.
"If we could restore the ability of the marrow
to release stem cells there is potential to reduce the effects of
diabetes, and prevent the devastating consequences of the condition
such as blindness and amputation. Understanding more about injured
blood vessel repair will also aid in the fight to mend hearts
damaged after a heart attack, a vital research
area we fund through our Mending Mending Broken Hearts Appeal."
The study was published in the American Heart Association
journal Circulation Research. Like all the
research we fund, the study relied on donations
from the public - please donate to help
support our life-saving work.