Professor David Dunger and his team will continue to follow-up adolescents with Type 1 diabetes who were involved in the AdDIT trial to assess the long-term effects of drugs which lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels on the development of diabetes complications.
The follow-up will also allow them to identify new risk markers for complications and potentially alternative interventions.
Background to research
It's well known that Type 1 diabetes is associated with a high risk for heart and kidney complications. Evidence suggests that people who develop diabetes during childhood have a higher risk of developing these complications compared to people who develop the condition during adulthood.
Adolescence remains a challenging period for achieving optimal blood glucose control. Unfortunately it is also the period when the first signs of heart, eye and kidney complications may emerge.
Studies in young people with Type 1 diabetes carried out over a long period of time have shown that early rises in the level of proteins in the urine begin during puberty, and represent a risk factor for future development of heart and kidney disease.
The AdDIT study, funded jointly by Diabetes UK, JDRF and BHF in 2006, is an ongoing trial aiming to evaluate whether two existing drugs, ACE inhibitors (which lower blood pressure) and statins (which lower cholesterol levels), can prevent these complications from developing in adolescents.
AdDIT represents a unique opportunity to study young people and assess the effect of early treatment with specific drugs. It is also an opportunity to study how complications develop, and identify potential signs that might be used to predict the risk of their development.
Professor Dunger and his team follow-up adolescents with Type 1 diabetes who took part in the AdDIT trial. This period of follow-up, beginning at the end of the trial, will allow them to assess the persisting effects of the drugs and explore factors that affect blood glucose levels.
They hope this will allow them to identify new indicators of complications and inform future clinical guidelines.
Potential benefit to people with diabetes
Follow-up of the young people in the AdDIT study will help to determine the long-term effects of ACE inhibitors and statins on the development of complications in young people with Type 1 diabetes.
It could also identify new ways to find those most at risk of developing complications and highlight potential alternative teatment strategies.