|Project manager:||Dr Jaqui Hughes|
|Project start/finish dates:||2007-2011|
|For more information about this project please contact:|
Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease are recognised as causes of premature death. The metabolic syndrome is a combination of disorders that precedes their development. The essential features of the metabolic syndrome include the body’s inability to regulate blood glucose levels (glucose intolerance), high blood pressure, obesity and abnormal blood fat levels.
The metabolic syndrome is becoming increasingly common in populations with high rates of obesity. It is also found in many clinical disorders, including in individuals who have albuminuria (protein leakage from the kidneys) and chronic kidney disease. Diabetes, cardiac disease, obesity and kidney failure are very common in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and contribute to the gap in life-expectancy between them and other Australians. A study of the relationship of body fat distribution and obesity, and the metabolic syndrome amongst Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is being undertaken.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people suffer a disproportionate burden of cardiac disease, diabetes and obesity, which contribute to early death in individuals and have huge impacts on families and communities.
The current targets for obesity measures (such as body mass index and waist circumference) are developed in populations of Caucasian backgrounds. There are differences in body shapes between Caucasians and Indigenous Australians. The waist measure and BMI may need to be revised to appropriate levels in populations with higher risk. This PhD research will contribute to this information.
On a more detailed level, body shape changes with chronic illness, including chronic kidney disease, which is another strong risk for development of cardiac disease. I hope to investigate how body shape changes occur in this cross-sectional study of individuals with diabetes and kidney disease.