Aiming to reduce the risk of people with diabetes also getting cardiovascular disease | Danish Diabetes and Endocrine Academy
  • Search form

Aiming to reduce the risk of people with diabetes also getting cardiovascular disease

Read the Danish profile here

Jonathan Baier’s goal is to find the explanation for people with diabetes having a greater risk of cardiovascular disease – and then to find a way of preventing it and to develop better treatment.

When Doctor Jonathan Baier was working on the cardiac ward at Vejle Hospital during his induction period, he was treating patients with both heart disease and diabetes on a daily basis. There are a lot of them: people with diabetes have twice or three times as much risk of developing cardiovascular disease as other people – but, if Jonathan Baier has anything to do with it, that will change. The end goal of the PhD project for which he has just received funding from the Danish Diabetes Academy is to prevent people with diabetes from also developing cardiovascular disease.

‘If we succeed, it will mean a lot both for patients’ quality of life and for the economy. Diabetes and heart disease are expensive illnesses’, he says.

Medication reduces risk of heart disease

The focus of his keen interest is the anti-inflammatory drug colchicine, which is cheap and has proven to reduce the risk of heart disease in patients with a recent coronary thrombosis and also in type 2 diabetes patients.

We do not yet know why – and that is the answer Jonathan Baier will search for in his PhD project. ‘When we understand how the drug works, we can optimize both prevention and treatment, and probably also contribute to the development of new treatments’, he says.
Jonathan Baier will conduct his PhD study at the Steno Diabetes Center Aarhus with consultant Professor Per Løgstrup Poulsen Dr Med. as his principal supervisor and with previous DDA postdoc Esben Laugesen as co-supervisor. It has also been arranged that he will spend three months researching at the University of Paris with Professor Pierre Boutouyrie of the University’s cardiac research centre, looking – among other things - at how their patients respond to colchicine treatment.

Verification experiment on 70 patients

Jonathan Baier’s hypothesis is that colchicine works by reducing the rigidity of large arteries, improving the function of small blood vessels and reducing inflammation in the aorta in type 2 diabetes patients.
He wants to test this experimentally by recruiting 70 type 2 diabetes patients who already have cardiovascular disease. Half will receive colchicine for six months, while the other half will get a placebo.

‘If we can clarify the mechanism, we expect to achieve three things: 1) pave the way for prevention of cardiovascular disease in people at risk of the development or aggravation of cardiovascular disease; 2) contribute to the identification of patients who will benefit from the treatment; and 3) lay the ground for the development of even more effective drugs’, he says.


Name and title: Jonathan Baier MSc (Medicine), b. 1990

Awarded DKK 1.1 million by the Danish Diabetes Academy.

Project title: Effect of colchicine on cardiovascular target organ damage in patients with type 2 diabetes

Research centres: Steno Diabetes Center Aarhus and Aarhus University

Principal supervisor: Professor Per Løgstrup Poulsen Dr Med, Consultant


Tel: +45 4264 7797


Contact Danish Diabetes Academy

Tore Christiansen, Managing Director


Tel: +45 2964 6764