There are 280,000 adults in Scotland living with diabetes and thousands more are estimated to be undiagnosed, according to BHF analysis of Scottish health statistics. Diabetes mellitus is a group of metabolic diseases arising from increased blood glucose as a result of inadequate production or release of insulin by pancreatic β cells (type 1 diabetes mellitus) or from an impaired cellular response to insulin released by the pancreas (type 2 diabetes mellitus).
The cardiovascular complications from diabetes include hypertension, peripheral vascular disease, heart disease, and stroke. Large and small artery disease are the principal causes of ill health and death in patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus. In large and small artery disease, vascular contractile dysfunction develops at the earliest stages and arises from changes in both smooth muscle- and endothelium-mediated regulatory mechanisms.
It is critical to the define the mechanisms by which diabetes generates vascular contractile dysfunction to provide new therapeutic approaches for the prevention of diabetes-induced disease states. Using novel state-of-the-art imaging technology that we have developed, we are unravelling the mechanisms underlying vascular problems that give rise to large and small artery disease in diabetes
James Cant, Director of BHF Scotland, said: “We’re delighted to be funding this pioneering research at the University of Strathclyde investigating the process of blood flow and its effect on blood vessels. Diabetes can double a person’s risk of developing heart and circulatory disease, so we want to find new ways to minimise the damage it can cause. Thanks to our supporters, universities in Scotland have been at the forefront of improving treatment, diagnosis and prevention of cardiovascular disease, here and around the world.”