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Professors studying heart failure

Illustration by Brian Stauffer

Researchers from UTA and UT Southwestern Medical Center (UTSW) are teaming up to study what has become the fastest-growing type of heart failure.

Kinesiology Associate Professor Michael Nelson and Professor Paul Fadel are part of an $11 million National Institutes of Health project to study the mechanisms of exercise intolerance in heart failure patients with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF), a condition in which the heart pumps normally but is too stiff to fill properly.

HFpEF is found mostly in older individuals, and its mortality rate is high.

“These patients have reduced quality of life and lowered tolerance for the activities of daily living,” says Dr. Nelson. “We are taking a whole-body, interdisciplinary approach to work as a team and address this problem head-on.”

Nelson, Dr. Fadel, and their colleagues at UTSW are focusing on identifying common characteristics among HFpEF patients based on cardiac, pulmonary, and skeletal muscle limitations that impede their ability to exercise. The goal is to determine the best therapies for these patients.

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