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Research to prevent complications

The complications of diabetes, such as damage to your feet or eyes, are not inevitable. Over the last 80 years, our research has been at the forefront of the fight against diabetes complications and we can now prevent or delay lots of them.

A legacy of stopping the harm from complications

In those 80 years, your support has allowed our scientists to make life-changing discoveries. 

We’ve helped Professor Roy Taylor prevent sight loss, leading to national eye screening programmes. We set up the first diabetes foot clinic in the UK, helping to reduce amputations. And – in a trial that had worldwide significance – our researchers discovered the power of a single drug to prevent heart attacks and strokes. 

Led by Professor Helen Colhoun, the trial changed the way statins, a cholesterol-lowering drug, were used, not just in the NHS but worldwide. 

These research advances have meant that people like Corinne, who was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes more than 30 years ago, have seen their care leap forward. 

We spoke to Helen and Corinne to hear about our life-changing research and how it has helped stop the harm caused by diabetes complications. 


Read Corinne’s full story

We’ve come a long way. And we’ve proved that by investing in landmark research, we can bring about real improvements to treatments and care for people with diabetes. 

But too many people still experience complications. There’s still work to be done to make sure everyone with diabetes can live long, healthy lives. 

We know there are certain groups of people who can be at particularly high risk of developing complications. This might be because they were diagnosed with diabetes at a young age, or because of their ethnicity or where they live. These factors could mean they need a different approach to reduce their risk of complications and we’re determined to get on top of this. 

Plugging the complications research gap

Our Diabetes Research Steering Groups (DRSGs) have told us there’s an urgent research gap around preventing or slowing the complications of diabetes in people at very high risk. 

The DRSGs bring together people living with diabetes, researchers and healthcare professionals to identify the big priorities in diabetes research. They pinpoint precisely where more research needs to happen, and where funding should go so that it makes the greatest possible difference to the lives of people with diabetes. 

We’ve teamed up with the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) – the nation’s largest health research funder – to invest in research to find answers.

In May 2021, we announced that in partnership with the NIHR, we are funding a new £2.1 million project led by Professor Kamlesh Khunti from the University of Leicester.

Professor Khunti and his team will develop a new healthcare package called MiFoot, that aims to prevent cardiovascular disease and early death in people with type 2 diabetes who have had a diabetic foot ulcer. Read more about Prof Khunti’s project.

Your support makes it possible

Your donations help to fund groundbreaking research just like this. Thanks to your support, we can make a real impact on future treatments and care for people with diabetes.

Donate now and help us to find the next breakthrough. Or explore other ways to get involved in research

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