New unit to battle diabetes

PUBLISHED: 12:04 30 March 2006 | UPDATED: 11:39 04 May 2010

A NEW medical research unit opened in Ely on Friday to support the fight against obesity and diabetes. The £350,000 unit at the city s Princess of Wales Hospital has been launched by the Medical Research Council to look into the problems which affect thou

A NEW medical research unit opened in Ely on Friday to support the fight against obesity and diabetes.

The £350,000 unit at the city's Princess of Wales Hospital has been launched by the Medical Research Council to look into the problems which affect thousands of people in the region.

Staff are looking for 5,000 volunteers to take part in a Fenland Study, a new project to help prevent diabetes and obesity.

It will investigate the interaction between the genetic and lifestyle factors that cause obesity and diabetes with the aim of developing health strategies to prevent these conditions.

Anyone born between 1950 and 1975 and registered at surgeries in the East Cambridgeshire area can take part in the study.

Volunteers will be asked to make a single visit to the new centre where they will have a thorough health check.

This will include measurements of their metabolic health, diet and other lifestyle patterns, body composition and fitness and physical activity levels.

The works follows on from the success of the MRC's Ely Study into diabetes, which used facilities at the hospital over the last 10 years.

Dr Nick Wareham, lead scientist of the Fenland Study and director of the MRC epidemiology unit, said: "We know from our previous studies in Ely that detecting the early signs of diabetes can have a real impact on long-term health."

Levels of diabetes within the East Cambridgeshire and Fenland area are among the highest in the eastern region.

Twenty-two per cent of men and 23 per cent of women - a total of 27,700 adults - are obese and levels have been rising steadily over the past two decades.

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