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    Diabetes study looks at diet against exercise


    Diastolic

    Exercise is being pitted against diet in a straight contest to find out which results in better diabetes control and the effect on heart function as part of new research in Leicester.


    NIHR-funded researchers in the city will be examining the impact of a low calorie diet compared to a fitness regime.

    The question is being posed because they want to look at the effects of diet and exercise on the heart in people with Type 2 diabetes.

    The condition linked to lifestyle has been found to have subtle effects on the pumping function of the heart, even at young ages – but the reasons for this are currently unclear.

    The study has been funded by the NIHR as part of a research fellowship for Professor Gerry McCann, Consultant Cardiologist at Glenfield Hospital. The project titled ‘DIASTOLIC’ is a collaboration between two research teams, the NIHR Cardiovascular Biomedical Research Unit (BRU), based at Leicester Glenfield Hospital and the NIHR Leicester-Loughborough Diet, Lifestyle and Physical Activity BRU, which is located at the Leicester Diabetes Centre at Leicester General Hospital.

    Professor Melanie Davies CBE, who is the Director of the Leicester-Loughborough Diet BRU as well as a Professor of Diabetes Medicine at the University of Leicester, said:

     

    “Many of the effects of Type 2 diabetes have been shown to be reversible, for instance following weight loss or after bariatric surgery. At present, however, we do not know if the same applies to the changes seen in the heart.

    “This study is aiming to discover exactly how Type 2 diabetes causes changes in the heart’s structure and function using MRI scans. We will be looking to improve the heart’s pumping function by using either a weight loss program with a special low calorie diet, or with a structured program of exercise.”



    Professor McCann also explained why the study was so important. He said:

     

    “Heart disease is the commonest cause of death in patients with diabetes and they are at least four times more likely to develop heart failure. We need to find treatments that can effectively reverse heart damage in patients with diabetes to reduce their risk of complications and death.”


    Study participants will either be eating a structured diet consisting of 810 calories a day and not being physically active or taking part in a 12-week exercise programme without dietary restrictions.

    People taking part in the study are between the ages of 18 and 60 and have Type 2 diabetes and are overweight.

    Anybody interested in the study contact a member of the research team by calling 0116 258 3385 or emailing DiastolicStudy@uhl-tr.nhs.uk.

    For more information about the study, visit http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26481101.

    Notes to editors

       
    • For further details, to arrange an interview or more photographs, email oliver.jelley@ojpr.co.uk or call 07803 003811 or 01604 882342. http://www.ll.dlpa.bru.nihr.ac.uk
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    • The NIHR Leicester-Loughborough Diet, Lifestyle and Physical Activity Biomedical Research Unit (BRU) is funded by the NIHR. By harnessing the power of experimental science we will explore and develop innovative lifestyle interventions to help prevent and treat chronic disease for the benefit of all. The BRUs undertake translational clinical research in priority areas of high disease burden and clinical need.
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    • The Leicester Cardiovascular Biomedical Research Unit (LCBRU) at Glenfield Hospital aims to improve the diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of cardiovascular diseases. The unit provides state-of-the-art facilities, equipment and staff to assist researchers in their complex projects. LCBRU is one of 20 units around England funded by the NIHR. LCBRU is a partnership between the University of Leicester and University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust. The Unit's director is Professor Sir Nilesh Samani and the manager is Dr Martin Batty.
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    • The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) is funded by the Department of Health to improve the health and wealth of the nation through research. Since its establishment in April 2006, the NIHR has transformed research in the NHS. It has increased the volume of applied health research for the benefit of patients and the public, driven faster translation of basic science discoveries into tangible benefits for patients and the economy, and developed and supported the people who conduct and contribute to applied health research. The NIHR plays a key role in the Government’s strategy for economic growth, attracting investment by the life-sciences industries through its world-class infrastructure for health research. Together, the NIHR people, programmes, centres of excellence and systems represent the most integrated health research system in the world. For further information, visit http://www.nihr.ac.uk.
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    • The Leicester Diabetes Centre is an international centre of excellence in diabetes research, education and innovation and is led by Professor Melanie Davies and Professor Kamlesh Khunti. Hosted at Leicester General Hospital, the Leicester Diabetes Centre is a partnership between the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust and the University of Leicester, working with the city and county Clinical Commissioning Groups. It is a leading applied health research unit committed to improving the lives and care of people with diabetes and other long-term conditions. For more information about the Leicester Diabetes Centre, visit http://www.leicesterdiabetescentre.org.uk.