Award for research into cardiovascular diseases in people with diabetes
Esben Laugesen from Aarhus University and Aarhus University Hospital recieves the Danish Diabetes Academy Scientist Award 2015 for his research into why people with diabetes develop cardiovascular diseases more often than others.
Diabetics develop cardiovascular diseases more often than non-diabetics. So far, no one has discovered the reason. At least not until now, but today medical doctor and PhD Esben Laugesen from Aarhus University and Aarhus University Hospital receives the Danish Diabetes Academy Scientist Award 2015 for his research efforts to find an explanation, which can hopefully lead to a form of treatment.
"I'm very proud to receive the award and pleased to see that attention is being paid to the importance of preventing cardiovascular disease in patients with type 2 diabetes. Despite the considerable progress that has been made in preventive treatment, patients with type 2 diabetes still have a high incidence of cardiovascular diseases. We still haven’t understood the reasons for this and there is a need for further research in the area to be able to improve the diagnosis and treatment," explains Esben Laugesen.
The award includes a DKK 25,000 cash prize.
Diabetic hearts work overtime
In his research, Esben Laugesen has shown that the arteries of patients with type 2 diabetes – even including those patients who only have the disease for a short period of time – lose their elasticity and become stiffer than those of healthy people. This means that fluctuations in blood pressure are not – as in the case of healthy people – evened out from one heartbeat to the next in the body's very elastic coronary arteries.
"As a result, the heart must work harder and the body's organs are exposed to an increased strain," explains the researcher.
The elasticity of the arteries can be assessed by measurements outside of the body. The current aim of Esben Laugesen’s research is to see whether it is possible to employ measurements of the stiffness of the arteries to improve the identification of those patients with a particularly high risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. The ultimate goal is to examine whether it is possible to improve the elasticity of the arteries and whether this would benefit the body's organs.
Facts about the award
The Danish Diabetes Academy Scientist Award is given to a young researcher who works with diabetes research in Denmark and who has demonstrated the potential to become a world-class researcher.
The Danish Diabetes Academy has initiated the behind the award. The academy was founded in 2012 with a five-year grant from the Novo Nordisk Foundation, together with financing from the universities and university hospitals in Southern Denmark, Aarhus and Copenhagen. The Academy is the first of its kind in Denmark and will make use of around 150 researchers during its first five years.
MD, PhD Esben Lerkevang Grove Laugesen
Aarhus University, Department of Clinical Medicine and
Aarhus University Hospital, Department of Endocrinology and Internal Medicine and
The Danish Diabetes Academy, Odense University Hospital
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