They aim to improve our understanding of the exact causes of type 2 diabetes in these ethnic groups and enable the use of more tailored strategies for prevention and treatment.
Background to research
People of Black African origin are up to three times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than people of White European origin. In addition, some of the features of type 2 diabetes differ slightly in people of Black African origin. For example, cases of type 2 in this ethnic group are less closely linked to levels of fat around the waist and high blood cholesterol levels than in people of White European origin.
As a result, one-size-fits-all strategies to prevent or control the development of type 2 diabetes can be less effective in UK Black African communities.
This study will help to improve our understanding of the exact causes of type 2 diabetes in people of Black African and White European origin. Dr Louise Goff and her team will compare sensitivity to insulin among people of Black African and White European origin at different stages of type 2 diabetes development.
Specifically, they will measure how much insulin is needed to manage fixed doses of glucose in people with ideal glucose tolerance and in people at high risk of diabetes from both ethnic groups. They will compare each individual's ability to produce insulin in response to glucose, and their metabolism of glucose and fat in liver, muscle and fatty tissue.
Potential benefit to people with diabetes
Knowledge gained from this study will help scientists to develop more effective strategies for type 2 diabetes prevention and early treatment, tailoring them to suit individuals from different ethnic groups and helping to benefit those most at risk, particularly in Black African communities.
This should help to improve early diabetes control, reduce the incidence of diabetes and inform the development of new drugs.