Professor Janna Morrison and her team from the Early Origins of Adult Health Research Group are working on research projects to improve the health outcomes for tiny babies.
Most babies grow well in the womb and are born an appropriate weight which gives them a healthy start to life. However, each year in Australia about 18,000 babies are born smaller than they could be due to placental insufficiency – where the placenta does not deliver enough nutrients to the baby.
Research has found that these babies are at higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease later in adult life. In Australia, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in comparison to all other diseases.
Professor Morrison is using advanced imaging techniques to visualise changes in fetal cardiac development. This will allow the detection of abnormalities before babies are born so that action can be taken to ensure that all babies have healthy hearts for life.
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