woman checking insulin levels

UK launch largest ever health research programme

The ‘Our Future Health’ programme will aim to get a wider outlook on why common long-term conditions like diabetes and arthritis, develop and how to postpone or decrease likelihood of getting them.

The research will look to recruit five million adults from across the UK in partnership with 15 charity partners working together.

Participants will be asked to provide information about their health and lifestyle as well as a small blood sample.

The pilot stage of the programme saw 3,000 volunteers take part in 2021. The full programme is set to open to the public in Spring this year and will recruit adults from all backgrounds across the UK.

Nineteen million adults in the UK have at least one long-term health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, and cancer.

Dr Andrew Roddam, CEO of Our Future Health said: “Millions of people in the UK and around the world spend many years of their later life in poor health. Our Future Health aims to tackle this and help people live healthier lives for longer, by creating the UK’s largest-ever health research programme to prevent, detect and treat diseases. 

“By building a world-leading health research resource that truly reflects the UK population our goal is to develop a more detailed understanding of what makes some people more likely to develop certain health conditions, so more effective tests and treatments can be developed in the future.”

The programme will aim to provide a prospective observational database and a translational research platform which will help to spot early signs of disease and develop new diagnostic technologies.

Diabetes affects 4.9 million people across the UK and is one of the main long-term conditions that will be focused on within the research programme.

Dr Elizabeth Robertson, Director of Research at Diabetes UK said: “We’re delighted to work with Our Future Health to support the development of this unparalleled health research programme, which aims to help researchers make new discoveries that will shape the future of how we prevent and treat diabetes, and other serious long term health conditions, in the UK.

“We want a new and different future for people living with, or at risk of, diabetes – a world where diabetes can do no harm. Our Future Health will play an important role in speeding up progress towards this goal.”

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NHE May/June 2024

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