Cardiovascular Disease

New hope for heart disease

Dalhousie-affiliated cardiac surgeons, cardiologists and scientists are working together to learn more about how age affects men’s and women’s hearts differently, how to prevent heart disease, how to better protect the heart during surgery and how to provide the best heart-disease care to people of all ages. Close ties with Capital Health, the Saint John Regional and the IWK Health Centre ensure patients benefit immediately from the research.

Exploring all facets of heart research

How to provide the best heart disease care

Dalhousie heart researchers are leading the way to more effective treatments for cardiac arrhythmias, more informed decision-making for elderly patients facing heart surgery, optimal use of mechanical hearts as a bridge to transplant and longer survival for transplant patients.

How to prevent heart disease

Dalhousie heart researchers are identifying the biochemical events that trigger arrhythmia—and heart-failure-causing scars to form in the heart—with an eye to therapies that could prevent these dangerous scars. Others are exploring the protective properties of certain fish proteins and animal fats, and testing new ways to get kids more physically fit.

How age and gender affect the heart

Dr. Susan Howlett is world-renowned for her discovery of profound differences in the way male and female heart cells function and how these change with age. Her findings may lead the way to gender-specific heart disease treatments and preventive therapies based on the effects of sex hormones.

How to protect the heart during surgery

Surgeons and scientists are collaborating to improve the solution of chemicals (cardioplegic solutions) used to stop the heart during surgery. They're creating and testing new formulations that protect the heart from oxygen-deprivation damage, so that patients from infancy to old age do better after surgery.