CIHR -Team Grant : Heart Failure Research Network – Registration

Well-being, Health and Biomedical Discovery


Academic Unit: Inquire within your unit

Memorial Deadline: No RGCS review required for the Registration

External Deadline: Wednesday 7th, July 2021


SIRI will be offering support with application development for this opportunity. Prospective applicants are encouraged to contact Jennifer Stevens ( early during the development process to discuss the services available to them.

Heart failure (HF) is a chronic, progressive and multifactorial condition where the heart is unable to pump sufficient blood to meet the body’s circulatory and respiratory demands (see figure 1). In Canada, it is estimated that over 650,000 individuals aged 40 years and older live with diagnosed HF, and approximately 90,000 new cases are diagnosed each year. People who develop HF have poor quality of life and are six times more likely to die prematurely[1]. Further disaggregation of these estimates reveals that Indigenous communities (First Nations, Inuit and Métis, including Urban Indigenous communities) and racialized communities are disproportionately affected. The prevalence and incidence of HF is consistently higher among men than women, although this gap is beginning to close and new evidence indicates there are sex differences in terms of disease presentation and pathophysiology. Individuals with HF commonly access primary care providers, require specialist care, and present to emergency departments; not surprisingly, hospitalizations and readmissions for acute HF are extremely common and result in direct cost of more than $2.8 billion annually to the Canadian healthcare system[2].

Heart failure is on the rise as more people survive heart attacks and as other acute heart conditions increase in the population. For example, infectious conditions (e.g., viruses [such as Coxsackie B virus causing myopathy], and bacteria [such as Streptococcus B causing rheumatic heart disease]) may contribute to acquired HF in children and young adults, and many patients with metabolic syndrome develop HF. A 2014 Canadian study showed that nearly 1 in 5 Canadians meet this diagnosis[3]. As more is learned about the impact of the SARS-CoV-2 infection, some reports suggest that patients with COVID-19 infection who were hospitalized suffered from acute cardiovascular complications and longer term heart damage, including an increased risk of HF in some individuals[4].

An increasing number of patients with HF have not sustained heart attacks, but have muscular dysfunction (“stiff hearts”) with preserved ejection fractions (HFpEF). There is no consensus on the cause(s) of HFpEF, although HFpEF is often associated with other chronic health conditions common in cardio-metabolic syndrome. Underlying inflammatory mechanisms may also contribute to the development of HFpEF, as inflammation has been linked to many of the chronic conditions that are associated with HFpEF. HFpEF is also more common in older adults and women. Finally, appropriate management and optimal care delivery for these HF patients is complex, as there are no effective treatments.

Many of the aforementioned health conditions are overrepresented among Indigenous Peoples living in Canada in comparison to non-Indigenous peoples. For example, Indigenous Peoples in Canada are 50% more likely to have heart disease than non-Indigenous peoples, and when compared with non-Indigenous people, the age-standardized cardiovascular disease mortality is 30% higher for First Nations men and 76% higher for First Nations women[5]. These health conditions in Indigenous populations are connected to their poor socioeconomic conditions resulting from Canada’s colonial legacy, such as the dismantling of the sociopolitical, economic, cultural, educational, and health structures and practices of Indigenous Peoples. Addressing HF among Indigenous Peoples will require supporting First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples and communities to drive Indigenous-led health research and knowledge mobilization.

WEBINAR – June 1, 2021

Additional information can be found at ResearchNet.

Funding Sources

Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR)

This opportunity was posted by: RGCS

Last modified: May 14, 2021