Lord Provost Becomes 200,000th SHARE Signatory at Celebration of Global Diabetes Partnership
Lord Provost of Dundee Ian Borthwick became the 200,000th signatory to the SHARE register. He also welcomed the world-renowned diabetes researcher Dr V Mohan to the city on the 12th of March to discuss a major new Scotland-India clinical partnership to combat diabetes.
The success of SHARE helped lead to SHARE co-Director Professor Colin Palmer being awarded a £7million grant from the National Institute of Health Research to esablish a Global Health Research Unit to work with Dr Mohan's Madras Diabetes Research Centre in Chennai. Professor Palmer and Dr Mohan gave a very special presentation to discuss their research and collaboration at the public lecture on the 12th of March.
"Diabetes is a major problem in India with 1 in 12 people affected, amounting to 69 million individuals currently, which is more than the entire UK population," said Professor Palmer.
"With increasing economic development and lifestyle changes those numbers are rapidly increasing. Yet current knowledge about diabetes is largely derived from studies on white European ancestry populations. This is despite the fact that diabetes in Europeans is very different to diabetes in South Asians.
"We need to understand more about diabetes in different populations. There is an urgent need for a large in-depth study of the specific causes and consequences of diabetes in India in order to identify different subtypes of diabetes that exist and understand how best to manage each subtype.
"Our NIHR project with Dr Mohan will address that. It will look at new ways of providing diabetes screening, using smartphone technology and retinal scans, which will provide valuable insights into how we can deliver more cost-effective and afforable diagnosis and treatment of diabetes, which is an issue here in the UK and around the world.
"Good health is a global endeavour. Our recent NIHR award has strengthened our position as a global leader in diabetes research and innovation and allowed us to collaborate on a global scale with centres such as Chennai. This project will command access to two of the most advanced diabetes management systems in the world, and include the anonymised data collated from those who agreed to help diabetes research in Scotland by signing the SHARE register."
The partnership combines Dundee's world-leading expertise in the use of medical record databases such as SHARE with Chennai's large patient data set covering over 400,000 diabetic patients. Diabetes in India and Scotland will be compared and contrasted to determine common and specific problems, with the aim of providing an improvement in health and reduction in health inequalities in both countries.
Lord Provost Borthwick said, "Diabetes is a cruel disease that robs people of their vision and mobility if it goes unchecked so I was delighted to be able to add my name to the list of those happy to take part in research in the fight against it.
"We have a great track record in the city of leading the way when it comes to the use of medical databases and this latest partnership with the Madras Diabetes Research Centre in Chennai will help to cement that even further."