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Media Release

May 22 2007

Small babies: big heart risks?

Investigating why babies born with low birth weight less than 2.5 kilograms have an increased risk of developing heart disease in adult life has been the focus of research at the University of South Australia.

There is evidence that the risk of developing cardiovascular disease may be - at least partly - determined before birth, according to National Heart Foundation Research Fellow at UniSA’s Sansom Institute, Dr Janna Morrison.

In the first of the Body of Knowledge 2007 series of public lectures examining the latest advances in health care, Dr Morrison will tell us why she believes this link exists and discusses the possible consequences of low birth weight on cardiovascular development.

Dr Morrison has a PhD in fetal physiology from the University of British Columbia. Her research has included a study on antidepressant use by pregnant mothers and its impact on fetal development, and therapeutic treatments for obstructive sleep apnoea.

Dr Morrison currently holds a second National Heart Foundation Research Fellowship. Her studies are funded by two National Health and Medical Research Council Project grants, which began this year.

Winner of a Tall Poppy Science Award in 2006, Dr Morrison is an enthusiastic science communicator who has participated in community programs that provided her with opportunities to speak about her passion for science with students of all ages, their teachers and members of parliament.

Dr Morrison will present
The Body of Knowledge lecture
Small babies: big heart risks?
Wednesday, 23 May from 6.30 to 7.30 pm
Basil Hetzel building, City East campus.

The Body of Knowledge lecture series is free and open to the public but registration is essential at www.unisa.edu.au/health/bok

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