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Approved research

Identification of infections causally implicated in heart disease incidence and progression.

Principal Investigator: Miss Amanda Chong
Approved Research ID: 52744
Approval date: November 4th 2019

Lay summary

Aim: To identify whether infections have a causal effect on heart disease risk and progression Scientific rationale: Heart disease is the main cause of deaths worldwide. Some studies have shown a link between chronic infection and heart disease; however, findings have been conflicting and this may be due to small sample sizes and unadjusted factors (e.g. socioeconomic status). To date, studies have only focused on infections that influence the risk of developing heart disease, with a lack of studies looking at whether infection is related to heart disease progression. This absence of research exposes a gap in knowledge surrounding which modifiable factors influence progression, once an individual is diagnosed with heart disease. By using a method know as Mendelian randomization, which uses genetic information to distinguish between correlation and causation, we aim to identify which infectious agents may be implicated in heart disease risk and progression. Project duration: 36 months. Public health impact: This research will be valuable for identifying important infectious agents, which can be the target of public health and immunisation programmes, and novel therapeutic drug targets that impede the progression of heart disease.