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Major research project needs you

A new multi-million pound medical project needs thousands of volunteers from the UK to take part in one of the biggest and most detailed public health research initiatives of our time.

Supported by the Department of Health, the UK Biobank project will follow 500,000 people aged 40-69 for the next 30 years or more.

Its aim is to find out more about curing many life threatening and debilitating conditions, including diabetes, Parkinson’s and dementia.

People who agree to take part in UK Biobank will attend a 90 minute assessment at special centres local to them. They will be asked to allow UK Biobank to follow them through routine health records over many years.

Participants will answer questions about their current health and lifestyle and will have a number of measurements taken, such as blood pressure, weight, lung function and bone density. They will also be asked to give small samples of blood and urine.

Simon O’Neill, Director of Care, Information and Advocacy at Diabetes UK, said: “UK Biobank will be a really useful tool for medical researchers in years to come. The more information we can arm ourselves with about serious conditions like diabetes, the more chance we have of finding new treatments and even cures.

“Diabetes UK would urge anyone who receives an invitation from UK Biobank to volunteer for the project.”

Professor Sally Davies, Director General of Research and Development at the Department of Health, said: "UK Biobank is not just for the fit and healthy. We shall get the most from it if it covers the whole population. So if people who are not in good health receive an invitation, I hope they too will think about what they could do for others by joining in this remarkable health project.”

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