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Researchers granted £2.6m for under 40s type 2 diabetes support

A team of researchers in Leicester have been granted £2.6m to develop a five-year care package, aimed at addressing support concerns for people under 40 with type 2 diabetes.

For people under 40, when type 2 diabetes occurs it is considered ‘early-onset’. The circumstances and lives of those with early-onset can be vastly different to older adults. But current treatments and programmes aimed at helping people self-manage their diabetes, has only focussed on research studies in older people. 

The project will include methods that ensure it is accessible and relevant to people’s backgrounds and varying circumstances, including people of different ages and ethnicities.

This will include a large ‘consensus conference’, bringing people from different backgrounds together with researchers, patients, healthcare professionals, and NHS decision makers to design the programme collectively. The project - known as ‘M3’ – will be led by Professor Melanie Davies, Director of the NIHR Leicester Biomedical Research Centre, and Leicester Diabetes Centre. This will also involve experts from across the UK and abroad.

This comes during the start of Diabetes Awareness Week (14-20 June), and follows on from research in the past few years showing the number of people being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, at a younger age has increased. This is in comparison to previous research stating that mostly older adults were affected.

Dr Jack Sargeant, a researcher on the M3 project said: “We often hear that people with early-onset type 2 diabetes struggle to find advice and resources that address the issues they have, whether that’s mental health or family life or something else. By designing this programme with people who live with early onset type 2 diabetes, we will develop the treatment packages that these people need to get the best care possible.”

Professor Melanie Davies, who is Professor of Diabetes at the University of Leicester NHS Trust, said: “By hearing from patients and healthcare professionals we hope to create a new type of care to meet the needs of people with early onset type 2 diabetes and improve their wellbeing. We also want to use the very latest technology and approaches to really make a difference.”

Once the programme has been designed, the clinical trial which will test the new approach will operate from sites in Leicester, London, Derby, and Liverpool. 

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