Tassie’s own Prof Peter Dargaville has been bestowed with a prestigious honour today as the outcomes from his clinical trial gained coverage in the internationally acclaimed Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

After its genesis at the Royal Hobart Hospital just over ten years ago, the global study has proven that The Hobart Method is a better approach to supporting the breathing patterns of premature babies.  It has already been clinically proven as a life-saver and a game-changer.

After receiving initial funding from the Foundation in 2012 and further local investment during its formative stages, evidence gathered through these early phases of the investigation attracted attention from the National Health and Medical Research Council.  This enabled Prof Dargaville and his team to gain a significant injection of funds - the trigger required to roll this out as a clinical trial across the globe.

Over recent years, the study has engaged the families of 485 premmie babies in the first hours of life across thirty-three neonatal intensive care units in eleven countries. Although only a small proportion of babies are born at less than 30 weeks’ gestation, these tiny ones are at high risk of breathing difficulty given their lungs haven’t yet developed. The Hobart Method uses a far less invasive approach to delivering a substance called surfactant through a tiny narrow tube gently placed into the infant’s windpipe, helping to disperse this deeply into the lungs and aiding the vital process of breathing.

The study, led by local neonatologist Prof Dargaville and his team, aimed to improve upon the current standard of care, seeking to limit the development of chronic lung disease that can have lasting effects on the lives of preterm babies.

The study engaged skilled team members from the areas of engineering and computer science, together with clinicians and pharmacists, combining their expertise to deliver a unique and cutting edge technologically driven approach that makes such a powerful impact on families worldwide.

Prof Dargaville said that it was a great privilege and very exciting to see that what began as an idea in clinical practice at the RHH has now become an accepted therapy of proven benefit for babies worldwide.

“The findings of the study have absolutely cemented the idea that using a minimally invasive technique to give surfactant can give these babies an important advantage in those critical early stages of life.”

Can this healthier start to life can have a lasting impact?  The answer is now being examined in an innovative follow up study in which parents of infants involved in the trial will now go on to detail their child’s health and wellbeing in the first two years after birth.

“Our results suggest that the use of The Hobart Method from day one will translate into a healthier start to life for premature infants around the world,” Prof. Dargaville concluded.

The results of this trial are currently being presented at neonatal conferences world-wide, and The Hobart Method has already rapidly gained traction in many neonatal intensive care units around the world.

We are incredibly proud of the contribution that the Foundation has made to this Tasmanian-based study and look forward to working closely with Prof Dargaville as his study progresses.

Local medical research saves lives, and thanks to the support of our local Tasmanian community we have been able to see an outstanding and life-saving idea exported and adopted globally for the benefit of generations to come.

You can support game changing research like the Hobart Method by making an online donation today. Thanks for supporting local medical research!

Are you, or someone you know affected by a rare disease? Tasmanian families who have had personal experience of conditions such as these often feel isolated and alone.  We know this local research project is vitally important to supporting the health and wellbeing of so many across our community, young and old, now and into the future.

Generously funded by a Tasmanian family, this study sees a skilled local team working closely with the newly established Tasmanian Rare and Undiagnosed Diseases Network (TRUDN). A key aim of the investigation is to build an initial profile of the number and impact of these conditions in our local community. Led by local researcher Dr Mathew Wallis, who is also Clinical Director of the Tasmanian Clinical Genetics Service, an important preliminary focus for the team will lie in simply uncovering the prevalence and diversity of rare disease in Tasmania. With better understanding, we can better support these families.

What is TRUDN?

TRUDN is a group of health professionals, researchers and consumers that aim to improve awareness, diagnosis and treatment of Rare Diseases in Tasmania. The TRUDN vision is to lead the delivery of equitable healthcare to Tasmanians living with Rare Diseases, along with driving new innovation and contributing to local, national and international projects in Rare Diseases.

Relevance to Tasmanians

This study is so important because the collective impact of rare diseases in Tasmania is, at this point, unknown!  Rare diseases are generally complex, serious and progressive conditions that begin to show early signs in childhood. These conditions often impact on several of the body’s core systems, in many instances there are multiple and ongoing health and psychosocial issues. Naturally these require continuing support through coordination of complex care.

One of the greatest challenges in understanding the impact of rare diseases is the limited data available - this is where the team’s study comes in! Rare disease data needs to be measured and tracked effectively to understand current Tasmanian needs while also better preparing for the future. In Tasmania, as in many other Australian states, there is a significant lack of evidence and public health data around the impact upon the patients’ families and the wider community.

What we need to know!

An undiagnosed disease often presents a complex challenge. Most undiagnosed diseases are rare, but there is a spectrum of rare disease types. Around 80% of these are genetic. While rare diseases are defined as a condition affecting less than one person per 2,000, because there are over 7,000 rare diseases, they collectively affect approximately 6-8% of the Australian population – that’s a significant number. We currently have no idea which of the 7,000 known rare diseases are prevalent in Tasmania and so Dr Wallis and his team are on a quest to find out!

What’s next?

This important project is part of a broader plan to identify, and later address, the needs that arise from rare diseases in Tasmania. These could include access to care, accurate and timely diagnosis (including screening for early detection), access to therapies, clear care pathways and provision of support beyond the health domain. As this study will also contribute to uncovering otherwise missed opportunities for earlier intervention, identifying and addressing these needs in Tasmania is critically important. For many families, this is a long-awaited study that will form the foundation to so much more vital medical research.

The Royal Hobart hospital Research Foundation’s purpose is to pursue better health for Tasmanians through research, but we can’t do this without your help.

You can make a donation online today or call our friendly team to make a donation via the phone on (03) 6166 1319. Thank you for supporting local medical research.

The Royal Hobart Hospital Research Foundation is proud to have first supported the Glaucoma Inheritance Study in Tasmania in 1999 and notes that this has become one of the longest-running investigations that works to ensure Australians know that glaucoma runs in families.  This is vital as, sadly, glaucoma can often be left undetected – in fact around half of those in our community with glaucoma area unaware of this until their condition becomes advanced. 

This is distressing.  Untreated, glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness worldwide and there are many in our local community who have a genetic predisposition toward developing this condition.

Over two decades, this Tasmanian-based study has developed the world’s largest family biobank of glaucoma, featuring over 2,000 patients and a further 3,000 of their relatives.  Building awareness has enabled better education and support to be provided to families, but the need for great research doesn’t stop there.

In 2021 Professors Alex Hewitt and David Mackey received funding to continue their investigations around whether a genetic risk score for glaucoma could be used to better identify people at risk of glaucoma blindness.  If successful, results from this study will deliver valuable evidence to support glaucoma screening and monitoring in Australia, providing scope for the risk of blindness to be detected early – the aim is that patients will require less treatment and, most importantly, fewer people will go blind.

Both lead investigators are alumni of the University of Tasmania, with Prof Hewitt graduating in 2001.  He obtained his PhD from Flinders University in 2009, exploring glaucoma with the motivation to better understand this condition, often labelled the "sneak thief of sight".

Since 2014 Alex and his team have been using world-class technology to better understand and treat inherited eye diseases. In 2016 and 2018 Alex received NHMRC Research Excellence Awards for the top-ranked applicant for a Practitioner Fellowship and Program Grant – that’s an outstanding achievement in such a highly-competitive arena. His research team, in conjunction with researchers across Australia and overseas, has also been actively involved with the identification of genes and risks associated with glaucoma, macular degeneration and myopia.

Prof Hewitt said the specific aim of this current Foundation-funded study is to determine the prevalence of glaucoma (including the risk of developing this) amongst people using a technique called ‘polygenic risk profiling’.  As part of a toolkit used in genetic risk prediction, this develops a score that will help guide more targeted approach to timely diagnosis and earlier intervention.

“We have recently developed a genetic risk score for use in detecting primary open angle glaucoma, so now we’re working to understand the effectiveness of this - applying this in a local, population-based setting across Tasmania“ he said.

Many of us know someone who has been impacted by eye disease, they may even have been directly affected themselves.  This is a vital study, and we know you’ll want to be kept up to date as Alex and his team progress with this over the months and years to come.

You can donate online today to help support researchers like Alex, and other local researchers in their quest to uncover more insights into diseases and conditions that directly affect the Tasmanian community.

Dr Dean Picone will be a familiar name to many of you. That's because the Royal Hobart Hospital Research Foundation has funded several of Dean's studies over the years and we have been privileged to profile his research previously on several occasions, including at various events.

We’re excited about the research he and his team are doing to develop more effective methods of monitoring blood pressure. Why? Because this research is vitally important to all Tasmanians, now and into the future.

Dr Dean Picone is a local Tasmanian researcher within the Menzies Institute’s Blood Pressure Research Group. He has an interest in ensuring blood pressure is measured accurately and has a good reason for this specific research.

While the statistics are startling, fortunately, if high blood pressure is correctly diagnosed and treated, the risk of heart disease and stroke is markedly reduced.

However, to ensure a timely and correct diagnosis can first be made, blood pressure must be measured accurately. This is easier said than done, and that’s where this research comes in.

For more than 10 years, the Blood Pressure Research Group of the Menzies Institute for Medical Research, led by Professor James Sharman, has been working in close collaboration with the Royal Hobart Hospital Cardiology Department.

“We are extremely grateful to the RHH Cardiology Department. The partnership is unique and attracts the envy of other blood pressure researchers from around the world,” said Dr Picone.

“Considerable investments in funding achieved through several bodies, including the Foundation, have generously supported this research program through a range of grants over many years.”

Over this time, the team has generated significant new knowledge related to the accuracy of blood pressure measurement. They have identified that standard blood pressure measurement using an inflatable cuff is actually more inaccurate in people at higher risk of cardiovascular disease – the very people who need an accurate diagnosis.

The team has now identified specific factors that are related to the inaccuracy of blood pressure measurement. This means they are now in a position to begin solving such a longstanding problem. This is great news!

“One of the most critical factors is the shape of the blood pressure ‘waves’ that are transmitted through the body every time the heart beats. The team will analyse this previously unutilised information to begin improving the way blood pressure is measured,” said Dr Picone.

“The aim of the current project is to apply machine learning techniques to the vast quantities of information derived from blood pressure waves and create a more accurate, individualised method of blood pressure measurement,” he said.

To achieve their important research objectives, the team recently collaborated with the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute’s Computational Biology and Clinical Informatics laboratory. It was this multi-disciplinary partnership that helped lead to the development of an application for the 2021–2023 Foundation's Major Project Grant.

Facing an intense degree of competitive pressure for this $450k grant, the team are excited about what their success in achieving this means to driving their research program further.

The ultimate aim of the research Dr Picone and his team are undertaking is to improve the accuracy of blood pressure measurement, thereby helping reduce preventable cardiovascular diseases in Tasmania, and eventually globally – an aspiration which has the potential to impact millions of lives.

“I would like to thank the Royal Hobart Hospital Research Foundation and its generous supporters for funding this project and all the other important medical research happening in Tasmania,” Dr Picone said.

You can help fund incredible research like Dr Picone's by simply by making an online donation today. Thank you for supporting the health and wellbeing of the Tasmanian community.

Dean Picone with the blood pressure cuff.

Chances are everyone knows someone working in the building industry - maybe you work, or have worked, in the industry yourself? Given the number of people this sector employs, construction has become the third largest industry in Australia and 2021 has seen Tasmania’s building and construction industry continue to boom even further.

A vital Tasmanian study, funded by the RHH Research Foundation in 2021, particularly hits home when knowing it could be you, your family or your friends that could be impacted by a shocking disease that can occur from just “going to work”.

Well-known local researcher, Prof Graeme Zosky, is leading this important Project Grant study, together with RHH respiratory medicine specialist Dr Nick Harkness. Prof Zosky is Deputy Director at the University of Tasmania’s Menzies Institute for Medical Research and also a Professor of Physiology at the School of Medicine. As a respiratory physiologist, his research looks at ways to better understand how our lungs function.

This is an essential and urgently-needed study that takes insight from Prof Zosky’s deep expertise in this area. We’ve discovered it is as compelling to our supporters as it is to the research team and those in the community that it stands to benefit. It has been generously supported by Blundstone Australia who knows that this local research will not only make a difference to so many Tasmanians, its impact will be felt by many in this industry, right across our country.

Relevance to Tasmanians

We know that exposure to dust from cutting artificial stone for benchtops used in kitchens throughout Tasmania is causing accelerated silicosis in more than 20% of workers. The aim of this project is to find new ways to prevent and treat this incurable, and often fatal, disease that is impacting Tasmanians at an accelerated pace. While we currently lack data specific to Tasmania, national studies suggest that 20-30% of workers involved in dry-cutting engineered stone have signs of silicosis.

What do we know?

Inhalation of dust from artificial stone benchtops, now almost universal in new kitchens, can cause silicosis – an incurable, debilitating lung disease that many of us would already have heard of in relation to working with asbestos. But unfortunately, this version of silicosis is more severe and progresses more rapidly compared to traditional forms of dust-induced lung disease which generally develop more slowly over a period of 20-30 years. Most workers with advanced silicosis created through exposure to artificial stone benchtop dust are typically young and have only been exposed to dust for 5-10 years.

What’s next?

The aim of this project is to identify the components of artificial stone that produce the most hazardous dust so that advances

can be made in regulating the industry and reducing the risk to workers. Importantly, this local team also aims to identify what happens in the lung when this dust is inhaled with the goal of identifying potential future treatments. Prof Zosky said he and his team are driven every day by the opportunity to conduct high quality research that is important to Tasmanians. We are proud to support their pursuits, we hope you will be too.

The Foundation’s purpose is to pursue better health for Tasmanians through research, but we can’t do this without your help.

Please consider if you can make a donation that will support not only Prof Graeme Zosky and his team, but so many other passionate researchers on their quest for better community health outcomes – it means so much to all of us.

Royal Hobart Hospital Research Foundation funded researcher Professor Graeme Zosky

We love introducing our supporters to the local researchers behind all the exciting and important projects.

After presenting at our annual Celebration of Research Excellence event in August, it was fantastic to hear more about Jessica’s research journey and her mission for better health for all Tasmanians.

Jess has been fortunate to have already experienced an interesting and varied career that includes time spent in a regulatory agency and also inspiring the next generation of researchers through academia. After spending several years as a research project manager, including coordinating a major community-based research trial in Sydney, Jess decided it was time to pursue her own PhD, a significant undertaking indeed! She completed this in 2017 and then took the opportunity to take up a fellowship in the oncology office of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States, before making her way to Tasmania.

“That was a great experience and gave me the opportunity to work with data from various oncology trials and gain an understanding of the drug development and approval process. My time at FDA helped inspire the research project I am now pursuing thanks to the generous support of the Royal Hobart Hospital Research Foundation,” she said.

Although clinical trials are an essential component of medical research and drug development, most patients with cancer often do not enrol to take part in trials. As a consequence, the challenges of translating findings from trial data into the real world are well-known.

With a multidisciplinary team from the Royal Hobart Hospital, the Menzies Institute for Medical Research and the Peter MacCallum Cancer Foundation, Jessica and her colleagues are investigating the real-world outcomes and side effects of new immunotherapy agents for Tasmanians with lung cancer. This new 2021 Incubator Grant is generously funded by a local Tasmanian benefactor and will provide important local evidence about these drugs which can then be used to build a resource which can better inform future studies in this area, based on real life outcomes.

With many Tasmanians knowing someone who has been impacted by cancer, or being affected directly themselves, this is a vital study, and we know you’ll want to be kept up to date as Jessica and her team progress.

You can help support researchers like Jessica to keep improving the lives of Tasmanians by making an online donation today. Thank you for continuing to improve the lives of the Tasmanian community.

Meet Richard Turner, an experienced Professor of Surgery with a demonstrated history of working in the higher education sector, who for many years now has added his expertise to inform clinical settings in Tasmania and beyond.

Skilled across the diverse areas of epidemiology, emergency medicine and oncology, Richard is heavily involved in lecturing at the University of Tasmania, while also team building across a range of sectors. Through its highly competitive annual grant rounds, the Royal Hobart Hospital Research Foundation has been proud to fund research projects led by Prof Turner in 2010, 2016 and now in 2021.

Professor Turner said he is delighted to work with an excellent group of local Tasmanian collaborators on his most recent research project.

After starting his career in the 1990s as an academic General Surgeon in Cairns, Richard was given advice that would help shape his career.

 “Around the time I started my career I attended a lecture by a UK surgeon who had gained worldwide recognition as an expert in benign conditions that cause mastalgia or painful breasts. His advice to young hopefuls seeking renown in their field was to find a disease process that no-one else was interested in, but was still an area of unmet need for the patients suffering from it. Luckily, my clinical practice in Far North Queensland provided ample inspiration, and before long I had found not one but two unloved diseases on which to build a career.”

“What the visiting UK expert did not quite say was that ‘unloved’ diseases do not attract the same degree of research funding as those conditions considered to be ‘high priority.”

He said he feels extremely fortunate to have received Foundation funding for his important research. Funding in 2015 for the Tasmanian Gynecological Anal Neoplasia Study (TasGANS) culminated in a top-tier publication that raised awareness of anal dysplasia in women with a history of HPV-related gynecological lesions. This was ground-breaking work in a critical area.

Professor Turner and his team have recently received funding for a data linkage study that will quantify the epidemiological and economic burden of pancreatitis in Tasmania. Statewide hospital and pathology data will be linked to provide a dataset which profiles Tasmanian pancreatitis cases from 2007-2018 to underpin further research.

 “We anticipate that this project will provide impetus for similar work on a national scale that will ultimately identify underserviced population groups and lead to tailored strategies for quality improvement - this will be vital for Tasmanians now and into the future,” he said.

You can support researchers like Richard by making a donation online, or calling one of our friendly team members on (03) 6166 1319.

So, let’s start with why that much-needed sleep may become so hard to find. Well, it might all be ‘in the bones'!

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a common, painful and disabling condition. That’s confronting news as almost 50% of Australians develop OA - in fact, the prevalence of OA in Tasmania is even higher.  And as those who experience chronic conditions like OA know only too well, sleep disturbance as a result of pain can make an increasingly negative impact on quality of life.

Local researcher Dr Feng Pan is a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Tasmania where much of his work is focused on identifying key risk factors for chronic pain and osteoarthritis (OA), identifying the observable characteristics of pain and OA and also testing new therapeutic treatments. Generously funded by a local donor, this vital research will make a difference to so many Tasmanians.

Relevance to Tasmanians

Despite such a high prevalence of OA in our community, there are currently no effective disease modifying drugs. Not only that, but existing therapeutic drugs have also limited success and carry a substantial risk of undesirable side effects. While joint replacement can be highly effective for pain relief, a substantial proportion of patients are unsatisfied or continue to experience persistent pain even after total hip or knee replacement.

Many Tasmanians experience a lengthy wait time for joint replacement surgery, and this also results in a decline in patients’ quality of life and physical function, not to mention an increase in joint-related pain. The information uncovered from this local study will undoubtably have a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of many Tasmanians.

What do we know?

OA pain in particular is a complex phenomenon, with pain presentations varying among patients. Unsurprisingly there have been disappointing results from current “one-size fits all” treatment approaches in OA pain patients. This new study is built on recent local findings which confirm that patients benefit from more personalised therapeutic approaches. Although we know sleep problems are very common amongst those with OA pain, the true nature of sleep/OA pain relationships, as well as underlying inflammatory responses, are not yet clearly understood.

What’s next?

The aim of this study is to uncover the directionality of the sleep-pain trajectory and its underlying inflammation mechanism.  As you would anticipate, this investigation has important clinical implications for developing more personalised management strategies for OA pain patients with sleep problems. This local study has great potential to significantly improve OA patients’ quality of life while also delivering substantial relief in saved healthcare costs for families and Tasmanian communities as a result.  We all know how much better a decent night’s sleep can make us feel!!

The Foundation’s purpose is to pursue better health for Tasmanians through research, but we can’t do this without your help.

This June please consider providing a gift that will support not only Dr Pan and his team members - Professor Graeme Jones and Dr Hilton Francis, but so many other passionate researchers on their quest for better community health outcomes – it means so much to all of us.

You can help members of our Tasmanian community by choosing to make an online gift to the Foundation today. Every donation over $2 is tax deductible.

You may have spotted local researcher Dr Dino Premilovac in some of our communications over the last few years, often sporting a white coat talking all things “brain research”, but at times more casually attired, introducing us to his young family with whom he loves to spend time bushwalking and camping around Tasmania.

However, spare time is rare in the life of a researcher and there has been plenty of vital work going on behind the scenes in local labs that will have significant impact for years to come. In fact, two of Dino’s recent Foundation funded research grants have now concluded and the outcomes will see positive change for the Tasmanian community and those further afield.

As a researcher Dr Premilovac tells us that being able to complete a project that will have vital impact is hard to describe.

“It’s hard to convey the exact feeling you get when completing a funded project, but it involves a mix of satisfaction, pride, excitement and relief! It’s fantastic to see the ideas that we work on for a long time produce really promising data, such as in the much-needed area of brain research.”

Dino’s message is simple. He emphasises why community support and funding are so important. Without support from the Foundation and sponsors like Blundstone, who generously funded one of Dino’s recent studies, these exciting research opportunities simply could not have gone ahead.

“I don’t know if it's common knowledge, but medical research is very expensive and science in general in Australia is severely underfunded. Having a local funding body like the Foundation, one that provides opportunities for research grants with impact in Tasmania, is really important.

“This means that medical research can take place in Tasmania and produce benefits not only for Tasmanians, but for the rest of Australia as well. Being able run research projects means we can train honours and PhD students in our teams. This means that local research funding enables us to recruit and train a new generation of medical researchers right here in Tasmania,” he said.

Dino explains that he feels driven every day to find out more as a researcher and confesses that he feels lucky that he gets to learn more about how our bodies work while also having the opportunity to research ways to treat the many diseases and conditions that are all too common in our community.

“I really enjoy learning more about how our bodies work. In particular, I am driven to understand how the smallest blood vessels in our bodies, the capillaries, work to supply each of the cells in our body with glucose and oxygen. This is an exciting area to be involved with because problems with capillary blood flow underpin almost all diseases that affect us, including stroke, heart disease, cancer and even obesity and type 2 diabetes. If we can better understand how capillaries work, we might be able to develop new drugs to treat these diseases,” he said.

Dino said despite the wealth of information gained in the last 10-20 years scientists are still at the tip of the iceberg when it comes to understanding how the brain works and how to fix brain disorders. The two Incubator Grants (2019 and 2020) that Dr Premilovac and his team have finalised are related to stroke and getting drugs to the brain when diseases are present.

“Stroke is one of the biggest killers of people in Tasmania and around the world. The only treatment we have for people that have a stroke is to remove the blood clot to restore blood flow to the brain. There is currently very little we can do to improve recovery from stroke. In our first study, we were able to show that a drug called Idebenone protects the brain from further damage after a stroke. This is really promising data, but we still need to do more investigation with this drug to understand exactly how it works to do this and what the potential side-effects of Idebenone might be.

 “A major issue with the drugs we give to people to treat brain diseases like stroke is the off target effects the drugs have on other parts of the body. Thanks to funding from the Foundation, we have developed a new way of concentrating drug delivery to the brain using ultrasound. This technology is completely safe to use in people and allows us to increase drug delivery to the brain while reducing the off-target effects on other organs. Our next challenge is to see if we can apply this new technology to improve drug delivery in the context of brain disorders such as brain cancer and stroke so that ultimately, we can improve health outcomes,” he said.

While the Foundation commends Dino and his team for such outstanding work, we know that this wouldn’t be possible without the support of our donors and corporate partners. Thank you!

You can support ground breaking research like Dino's by making an online donation today, or calling one of our friendly team members on (03) 6166 1319.

Cardio-Vascular Disease (CVD) causes more Tasmanian deaths than any other condition. It is linked to over 3,000 Tasmanian deaths each year and is a major burden to Tasmanians and our community. This impacts on quality of life, but also through high use of health services, particularly at the Royal Hobart Hospital (RHH), where the statewide services of cardiac surgery, vascular surgery and stroke services are based.

Led by Professor Matthew Jose, a state-wide research team made up of clinicians from general practice, together with those involved in public health, kidney disease, diabetes, cholesterol and heart disease was funded to undertake vital Tasmanian focused research in late 2019 and early 2020. We are pleased to report that this study has uncovered some very important information that will help ongoing medical research for years to come. You may remember the roll-out of media coverage around our community health campaign focusing on vascular disease that saw the community dig deep to ensure this $25k study could be funded. We featured the story of local Tasmanian, Scott Salter, who suffered two heart attacks before undergoing triple bypass surgery at the RHH at Christmas time 2018. Scott is 58 and knows first-hand how close he was to having this disease devastate his life. His message was clear, “don’t leave it too late to get checked”.

Greater awareness and support is critical for people with high cholesterol. We need to identify and fully treat these people to try and prevent future heart attacks, strokes or death from Cardio-vascular Disease.

The study titled “A comprehensive examination of potentially modifiable vascular disease risk factors and their consequences in Tasmania” saw a local research team from across the state dive into data to analyse which Tasmanian communities have high levels or risk factors for vascular disease (kidney disease, cholesterol, or diabetes). Royal Hobart Hospital Research Foundation CEO, Heather Francis, said this clinical research project and many others will have lasting impact for generations of Tasmanians to come.

“There is so much to be done to improve the health status of Tasmanians. Funding these important research programs is only possible through the assistance of our community. Generous support will help us work toward this goal, but it is important to know that the impact of this study has already been particularly vital,” she said. With the help of Sonic Laboratories (Hobart Pathology, Launceston Pathology and North-West Pathology) plus Pathology South, the team examined 398,649 unidentified Tasmanians who had their lipids, glucose or creatinine measured between 2004 – 2017. The team then reported these by age, gender, geographic region (South, North or North-west Tasmania as well as smaller local communities). We think you’ll join us in being excited about another example of cutting-edge research happening right here at our doorstep with involvement of many locals, all aimed to benefit Tasmanians in years to come.

You can help support projects like this one and many more by making an online donation today. Thank you for continuing to support groundbreaking Tasmanian medical research.