New research investigates links between stress, diet and type 2 diabetes

New research into the combined impact of stress and diet on the heart health of people with diabetes could pave the way to new treatments reducing the risk of heart attacks in some people.

Four new diabetes research studies in Queensland have been funded through new grants announced by Diabetes Australia.

“We are pleased to announce funding to support the research of Professor John Headrick from Griffith University who is looking at the combined impact of stress and diet on diabetes and heart health, in particular the body’s ability to deal with the impact of a heart attack,” Professor Greg Johnson, CEO of Diabetes Australia said.

“Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in people with type 2 diabetes. The combined impact of both chronic stress and unhealthy diets on people with diabetes are their heart health is not well understood.

“Up to 75% of people with diabetes report experiencing serious stress in their day-to-day lives and it is important we understand how this impacts their physical health.

“Understanding the combine effect of stress and unhealthy diets could pave the way for more effective interventions that help reduce stress and improve outcomes in people with diabetes.”

Diabetes Queensland CEO Sturt Eastwood said other research projects would look at the impact of sedentary time and sitting in the workplace and the impact of gestational diabetes.

“Associate Professor Genevieve Healy from the University of Queensland has received funding to develop an intervention that helps people reduce the amount of time they are sitting in the workplace,” Mr Eastwood said.

“Dr Carlos Salomon from the University of Queensland will study the links between gestational diabetes and the foetal development of large babies in the hope of identifying potential new treatments.

“We’re are also supporting research by Dr Katie Brooker from the University of Queensland to find ways to help people with diabetes who also have intellectual or developmental disabilities to live well with their diabetes.

“The tremendous advances in diabetes research in the last century have dramatically improved the quality of life for people with diabetes and today’s announcement is another step forward in the diabetes research journey.

“We will continue to fundraise and invest in diabetes research until we’ve found a cure.”

The Awards were presented at a special, physically distanced event today.

The Diabetes Australia Research Trust was established in 1987 to support and develop diabetes related research across Australia. Donations support funding towards the prevention, management and cure of all types of diabetes, as well as enabling and fostering young and upcoming diabetes researchers.

Each year outstanding research projects are selected through a merit based, competitive, peer review process.

Full List of Grants

 Researcher Institute Project Title
Professor John Headrick Griffith University Myocardial Maladaptation With Multimorbidity: Interactions Between Metabolic and Mood Disorders


Associate Professor Genevieve Healy


University of Queensland Supporting working adults with type 2 diabetes to sit less and move more: developing and testing a program suitable for wide-scale delivery


Dr Carlos Salomon


University of Queensland Adipose tissue-derived exosomes and their role in controlling fetal growth, in normal and gestational diabetes mellitus pregnancies


Dr Katie Brooker


University of Queensland Development and evaluation of educational and self-management resources for people with intellectual and developmental disability living with diabetes and their support people: Diabetes to the Point



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