6,000th volunteer signs up for Norfolk diabetes study
The Norfolk Diabetes Study, a collaboration between the Medical Research Council and the diabetes team at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, has recruited its 6,000th volunteer.
The study aims to identify genetic factors that are linked to type 2 diabetes and is a collaboration between the Medical Research Council Epidemiology Unit in Cambridge and the diabetes team at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and University of East Anglia.
“The fantastic response of the people in Norfolk to our study has given us a unique opportunity to investigate how genes influence the development of type 2 diabetes and its complications” says Dr Claudia Langenberg of the MRC Epidemiology Unit in Cambridge. “We are very grateful to our study participants and the professional and motivated team here in Norfolk”.
More than a million people in the UK have type 2 diabetes and the number is rising sharply. Genes play an important role in the development of diabetes, although the mechanisms are not well understood.
The Norfolk Diabetes Study has recently contributed to the discovery of a gene that is strongly linked to high blood sugar levels and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. The gene is involved in the way the body responds to the 24 hour day-night cycle. These findings were the result of a large international collaboration including several studies in different countries that were published in the journal Nature Genetics in December.
The Norfolk Diabetes Case Control Study started in 2003 and is funded by the Medical Research Council and the Wellcome Trust. It aims to recruit a total of 10,000 people with type 2 diabetes. The study is jointly led by Professor Mike Sampson in Norwich and Professor Nick Wareham in Cambridge.
Picture caption: l to r: Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital Diabetes Research Nurse, Maureen Stuart, and 6,000th Norfolk Diabetes Study participant, Yvonne Gathercole, of Gooderstone, pictured at Swaffham Community Hospital.