Landmark Norfolk Diabetes Prevention Study seeks participants
A landmark Norfolk research study which could hold the key to reducing the number of people with type 2 diabetes has been up and running for a year – with participants saying it is changing their lives for the better.
The Norfolk Diabetes Prevention Study has already screened nearly 3,000 people who are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, but needs to screen 10,000 in total and researchers are appealing for people to take part.
The �2.2m research study, funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), is being run by the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and the University of East Anglia.
Participants who volunteer undergo a simple blood test to check the level of glucose in their blood.
Higher than normal glucose (known as Impaired Fasting Glucose or IFG) could mean they are in a 'pre-diabetes' phase and are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes.
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Most participants are expected to have normal blood glucose levels and will not be eligible to enter the study, but three to 10pc (depending on age and weight) will have pre-diabetes and will then be offered the chance to take part in a research trial to see if changes to their lifestyle can help reduce the risk of them developing type 2 diabetes.
This could include getting additional support from people who have diabetes, as well as receiving sessions covering topics such as diet and exercise to see if positive changes to their lifestyle can make a difference.
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It is estimated that by 2030 there will be 75,709 people with diagnosed or undiagnosed diabetes in the NHS Norfolk area.
Study chief investigator Professor Mike Sampson said: 'This study holds a lot of promise for one of the major public health challenges of our time. The cost of diabetes care to the NHS is rising rapidly and if we can demonstrate that an intervention programme can prevent people from developing the condition, the savings in terms of the human cost and the financial cost to the NHS will be substantial.'
Nikki Murray, a senior researcher on the study, said: 'Diabetes is a life-long chronic condition and if you don't control it well you can have complications.
'People on the study are in a privileged position to be able to avoid it.'
Screening and interventions are proposed to take place in locations in the north, south, east and west of Norfolk, as well as in Norwich.
Are you eligible to take part? Are you aged 40 years or over AND have at least one of the following:
Do you have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more?
A family history of type 2 diabetes?
A personal history of coronary heart disease?
Are you overweight?
Have you ever had diabetes during pregnancy?
Have you ever had impaired fasting glucose?
If so then you can register by calling 01603 597300 or online at www.norfolkdiabetespreventionstudy.nhs.uk