Universities of Leicester and Cambridge spearhead one of UK's biggest diabetes prevention programmes

Posted by pt91 at Feb 06, 2012 11:20 AM |
Prevention of Diabetes Through Physical Activity Education programme to tackle chronic condition
Universities of Leicester and Cambridge spearhead one of UK's biggest diabetes prevention programmes

Professor Kamlesh Khunti of the Department of Health Sciences.

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 6 February 2012

A group of University of Leicester researchers has received a £1.9 million grant to undertake one of the largest scale diabetes prevention programmes in the UK.

The study, called the Prevention of Diabetes Through Physical Activity Education With Different Levels of Ongoing Support (PROPELS), aims to provide information to the NHS to help reduce the number of people who develop type 2 diabetes in the future.

The University's Diabetes Research Team will use a grant from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Technology Assessment programme to assess the benefits of a long-term diabetes prevention method called structured education.

A spokesperson for The NIHR Health Technology Assessment (HTA) programme said:  “The NIHR HTA programme identifies the most important questions that the NHS needs answers to through wide consultation and have highlighted this area as being of national importance”.

This approach involves encouraging people at risk of developing type 2 diabetes to engage in physical activity – which has been shown to lower blood glucose levels over one to two years.

Professor Kamlesh Khunti, Professor Melanie Davies and Dr Tom Yates, of the Departments of Health Sciences and Cardiovascular Sciences, are collaborating with researchers at the University of Cambridge and the MRC to test whether this approach is effective among participants across Leicester and Cambridge.

After participants have received the education programme, the study will compare the effect of low and high intensity support on long-term behaviour change.

Professor Khunti said: “Type 2 diabetes is an increasingly common, chronic condition affecting 6 million people in the UK. Type 2 diabetes costs the NHS over £10 billion annually. Many cases of type 2 diabetes are preventable through changes to lifestyle, such as increasing physical activity.

“There is very little data on how long-term education programmes can reduce type 2 diabetes. We hope to explore how much ongoing support is needed to sustain behaviour change in people at high risk of developing diabetes.

“Our application was helped by the fact our team has international expertise in this area and in particular prevention of diabetes in people of south Asian origin who are at high risk of developing diabetes.

“It was very much good news for us to be given the grant - in particular for Leicester as a community and for the university.”

Ends

Note to Editors

For further information, please contact Professor Kamlesh Khunti on 0116 252 5445 or email kk22@le.ac.uk

  1. The National Institute for Health Research Health Technology Assessment (NIHR HTA) programme commissions research about the effectiveness, costs, and broader impact of health technologies for those who use, manage and provide care in the NHS. It is the largest NIHR programme and publishes the results of its research in the Health Technology Assessment journal, with over 550 issues published to date. The journal’s 2010 Impact Factor (4.197) ranked it in the top 10% of medical and health-related journals. All issues are available for download free of charge from the website, www.hta.ac.uk.
  1. The National Institute for Health Research provides the framework through which the research staff and research infrastructure of the NHS in England is positioned, maintained and managed as a national research facility. The NIHR provides the NHS with the support and infrastructure it needs to conduct first-class research funded by the Government and its partners alongside high-quality patient care, education and training.  Its aim is to support outstanding individuals (both leaders and collaborators), working in world class facilities (both NHS and university), conducting leading edge research focused on the needs of patients. www.nihr.ac.uk

Report by Mark Cardwell

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