Skip to navigation Skip to main content Skip to footer

Approved Research

Identification of genetic and environmental risk factors that contribute to the development of cardiometabolic disease

Principal Investigator: Dr Marcel den Hoed
Approved Research ID: 22457
Approval date: October 26th 2020

Lay summary

Heart disease, stroke and diabetes are serious diseases that are major causes of death worldwide. While they have a large impact on the quality of life of patients, the biological causes of the diseases are still not well understood. Our study aims to further improve our understanding of the biological factors that influence the likelihood of people developing heart disease, stroke and diabetes, identify targets for new medication, and examine if existing drugs for other diseases can also help prevent or treat these diseases. Factors that influence disease risk include those stored as variants or mutations in our DNA, which could influence the risk of disease directly, or by having an effect on a risk factor, like cholesterol levels, or via our behaviour, like exercise frequency or eating habits.

We want to use information about mutations in the DNA and records of environmental factors to identify genes that play a role in the disease, better understand how the disease develops, study if we can use genetics to develop new medication, or find out if proteins encoded by causal genes are already targeted by existing medication for another disease, which may then be used to also prevent or treat heart disease, stroke or diabetes. Understanding the factors that contribute to heart disease, stroke and diabetes development will also help us to identify patients at high risk earlier, so the disease can be prevented. We anticipate a 3-year project but depending on the outcomes we may request an extension.