Dr Rebecca Haddock, Autonomic and Cardiovascular Dysfunction Group, The John Curtin School of Medical Research, ANU.
Affecting 3.7 million people, cardiovascular disease is Australia’s largest health problem. The risk of developing cardiovascular disease, including hypertension, is significantly increased in individuals who are obese or overweight. Increasingly, emerging evidence suggests that obesity-related hypertension is a distinct disease type, with disturbances in sympathetic nerve activity considered to play a critical role in the onset and progression of this disease. Our work on vascular sympathetic nerves controlling blood pressure is directed to uncovering new therapeutic targets aimed at reducing excessive nerve-mediated vasoconstriction and decreasing blood pressure in the obese.