Page last updated at 10:22 GMT, Friday, 14 November 2008

Diabetes study to test thousands

A ground-breaking study into diabetes has been launched by the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and the University of East Anglia (UEA).

The two-year research programme will screen 6,000 volunteers in Norfolk.

They will have a simple blood test to check glucose levels and those at risk will be offered help to reduce their chances of developing Type 2 diabetes.

The research programme will receive 800,000 in funding from the National Institute of Health Research.

Screening programme

People living in central Norfolk aged 45 to 70, with a Body Mass Index of over 25, and a family history of diabetes will receive a letter from their GP asking if they wish to volunteer for the screening programme.

Large local employers will also be approached asking for eligible volunteers for the study.

An estimated two million people in England have the condition and about 80% of those with diabetes in England have the Type 2 condition.

In Norfolk there are about 30,000 people with diabetes with about 2,500 new cases diagnosed every year.

Type 2 diabetes is most commonly diagnosed in adults over the age of 40, although increasingly it is appearing in young people and young adults.

An open event is being held at Dunston Hall Hotel, near Norwich, to recruit 40 people who already have Type 2 Diabetes and can act as mentors to the study volunteers who will then undergo screening and help with diet and exercise.

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