Dr Jason Gill of the University of Glasgow is leading a team of researchers in a project to examine the double benefit of physical activity in those adult children whose parents suffer from late-onset diabetes.
These children are themselves at increased risk of developing diabetes and, although not diabetic, often have changes in their metabolism making insulin less effective at controlling their blood sugar levels. This can lead to an increased risk of heart disease.
Dr Gill explains: ' Our study will investigate whether a programme of moderate physical exercise can be effective in normalising the function of insulin in these individuals and will help us to understand how exercise can reduce someone's risk of developing late-onset diabetes and heart disease.'
Dr Gill's work has already found that non-diabetic grown up daughters of patients with type 2 diabetes carried more weight, had a less favourable metabolic profile and were less physically active than adult children with non-diabetic parents.
However, dietary intakes were similar between the two groups. Results suggested that habitual physical activity levels might be associated with weight and metabolic risk factors to a greater degree in the female offspring of type 2 diabetic patients than in individuals with no family history of the disease.
This outcome warranted further examination in a controlled trial and Dr Gill has just secured funding from The British Heart Foundation to take his project to the next stage. He is now looking for volunteers to be a part of this research project. He is seeking a group of 80 female volunteers between 20 and 45 years of age who either have at least one parent with type 2 diabetes or have no family history of diabetes so that he can have two controlled groups with which to contrast and compare. Interested individuals are asked to register at University of Glasgow / BHF offspring Study