Funds crucial to aortic disease research

7 February 2023

Kevin Mani, chief physician and adjunct professor of vascular surgery

We have a good chance of answering major important questions about aortic disease, says Kevin Mani

Hello there, Kevin Mani, Senior Consultant and Adjunct Professor, and his research group in vascular surgery, are currently seeking funding from the Swedish Research Council and the Swedish Heart-Lung Foundation for three research projects in vascular surgery.

One grant is for a Scandinavian study on the treatment of aortic dissection, another for a study aimed at improving our understanding of diseases of the aorta using so-called functional imaging, and an additional one for a study on drug treatment of aortic hernias.

Congratulations! How does it feel?

“Fantastic! It is a great vote of confidence to receive grants from the Swedish Research Council and the Swedish Heart-Lung Foundation. It is a combination of joy that our projects were highly valued by important funders, and the feeling of great responsibility to use these funds in the best possible way to answer important research questions.”

What does this mean for your research?

“A lot! These grants allow us to study both the basic disease mechanisms in the aorta and possibilities for medical and surgical treatment in high-quality studies. Such research requires, among other things, steady input from competent scientists, research nurses and project managers, and the grants allow us to build the team needed to carry out these large-scale projects. “

What, apart from your research, do you think made you get the grant? Did you do anything special or work in any particular way on the application?

“I think a key factor has been that the projects we applied for are national and international studies involving many experienced researchers. That means we have a good chance of actually answering major important questions about aortic disease. Working closely with other competent researchers both in developing the projects and writing the proposal is, I believe, a key factor for a successful application.”

What does this mean in the long run for patients?

“The ultimate goal is less suffering and death from aortic disease, which currently results in several hundred thousand deaths annually worldwide. Our research will lead to better, personalised treatment for patients suffering from aortic disease.”

Facts about aortic aneurysms

An aortic aneurysm causes about 200,000 deaths worldwide annually. 

Diseases of the aorta affect approximately 3-5% of the elderly population over 65 years of age. It is one of the top ten causes of death in older people. The disease can also affect younger people and is four times as common in men as in women.

The cause of the disease is not fully understood, but in some cases, the cause is a hereditary predisposition in combination with other risk factors. Studies have shown that smoking is of great significance.

For about 10 years now, all 65-year-old men in Sweden have been offered screening for aortic aneurysms. Thousands of hernia patients are found during the ultrasound examination and are then followed up for preventive purposes.