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Our Future Health may hold the key to huge health discoveries

The UK’s largest-ever health research programme, called Our Future Health, aims to recruit up to five million adults from across the UK. It will create a detailed picture of how and why a wide range of common long-term conditions, including diabetes, develop and how to stop them in their tracks.

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Our Future Health

Alongside 15 other charity partners, we’re working with Our Future Health to help them develop their research programme and make sure that people with diabetes will benefit from what it finds out. The programme will help researchers to make new discoveries about health, and test more effective ways to predict, find and treat diabetes and other conditions. People taking part will be asked to provide information and data about their health and lifestyle and small samples of their blood.

Three thousand volunteers were welcomed onto the pilot stage of the programme in 2021. In Spring 2022, Our Future Health will open to the public with the aim of recruiting five million adults from all backgrounds to participate in the research programme.

Help for long-term health conditions

Long-term health conditions like diabetes take a heavy toll on people’s physical and mental health. We need better ways to detect who is at risk of developing these conditions so that we can prevent them from developing in the first place. We also need better treatments to help people live well with their health conditions.

Diabetes UK is committed to funding and supporting research to develop new ways to detect, prevent and treat all types of diabetes.

Read about some of our researchers’ recent findings showing that higher levels of fat in the liver, and having a smaller pancreas, directly increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and how the immune system attack in type 1 diabetes can start in the womb

Around 19 million adults in the UK live with at least one long-term health condition. Common conditions include diabetes, which affects 4.9 million people, heart disease, arthritis and cancer. Many of those aged over 65 years are living with at least two.

By volunteering, you’ll be able to contribute to the most detailed picture of health ever captured in the UK that could, in the future, lead to new life-changing support and treatments for millions of people. The Our Future Health website has more information about the research programme and taking part.   

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.”

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.”

Photo from Our Future Health

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