Diabetes and related metabolic conditions are a leading cause of ill-health and premature mortality exerting huge financial pressures on the health services.
The Diabetes Research Unit, Cymru (DRU Cymru) is active in areas of basic, clinical, epidemiological, social care and health services research across Wales.
The core infrastructure links basic scientists, clinicians, patients and the third sector, to facilitate cross-discinplinary and cross-professional collaboration.
In Wales, the prevalence of diabetes is now over 7% of the population and diabetes accounts for more than 10% of NHS spend. With rising levels of obesity, in the setting of an ageing population and an increasing ethnic minority, these figures are set to rise dramatically over coming years. Research into ways of both preventing and coping with the diabetes epidemic is, therefore, a priority in all developed countries.
Participating in a high-quality clinical research study can provide people with additional treatment options. The evidence suggests that people who receive care in research-active institutions have better health outcomes than those who are treated in non-research environments. People who participate in research have a better understanding and better management of their condition through additional contact and a partnership relationship with their health professionals. Well conducted research has a major impact on the development and modification of clinical guidelines.
The Diabetes Research Unit Cymru (DRU Cymru) was established in April 2015 and its mission is to undertake and support a comprehensive, integrated, translational, research programme across Wales to advance the development and implementation of therapeutic strategies for prevention, treatment and self-management of diabetes. Health and Care Research Wales have pledged funding of up to £1,500,000 over a three year period to support the work of the Unit. Specifically, the Unit aims to develop and support UK Clinical Research Network (UKCRN) Portfolio studies across Wales and assist in grant capture.
Collaboration with industry is also important in order to develop new treatments and therapies which have benefits for people with diabetes, and the potential to reduce the burden of disease by better management and prevention or delay of complications. These activities will be complemented by knowledge mobilisation and public involvement and engagement.