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Trial to help prevent complications for adolescents with Type 1 diabetes

Researchers at the University of Cambridge are working with funding from Diabetes UK, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and the British Heart Foundation to set up a five year international study to try and prevent heart and kidney disease in young people with Type 1 diabetes.

Research has shown that ACE inhibitor drugs that lower blood pressure, and statins that reduce levels of cholesterol in the blood, can help prevent heart and kidney complications in adults with Type 1 diabetes. Approximately 3.4 million people in England currently take statins, but the Adolescent Type 1 Diabetes Intervention Trial (AdDIT), will be the first trial of statins and ACE inhibitors in young people.

Searching for volunteers

Researchers from the Department of Paediatrics at the University of Cambridge and 11 other sites across the UK, Canada and Australia are looking for 500 volunteers aged 11-16 with Type 1 diabetes who have a higher risk of developing diabetes-related complications. High risk is indicated by higher levels of protein (albumin) in the urine. A further 400 adolescents who have a lower risk are also needed.

Those at high risk of complications will be given one of four combinations of treatment and have regular check-ups for up to five years. The low risk group will not take any statins or ACE inhibitors but will have check-ups for up to four years for comparison. The researchers will also keep in touch with all participants for a further five to ten years to determine the long-term effects of the treatments.

Looking to answer a key question

Dr Iain Frame, Director of Research at Diabetes UK, said: “Around 80 per cent of people with diabetes die of cardiovascular disease and one in three people with diabetes will develop kidney disease. Early prevention of these devastating complications is essential to improve long-term health and quality of life.

"This study should provide conclusive evidence as to whether statins and ACE inhibitors will do just that in high-risk adolescents. The findings could change the lives of countless children and young people in years to come.”

Interested in taking part?

If you are interested in taking part in the study, please e-mail Cambridge University’s Department of Paediatrics ataddit@paed.cam.ac.uk. Let them know which region you live in so they can tell you if AdDIT is running in your area and how you can get involved.

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