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Diabetes & Cardiovascular Disease: How to Reduce the Risk?

Changes in society are leading to a sedentary lifestyle and are causing a rise in the number of people with obesity and cardiovascular disease

This is consequently having a large impact on the health of the nation.

Research at the University of Leicester reports the outcome of combining the results from a number of individual randomized trials, which have compared two or more of the available interventions for people at risk of developing diabetes mellitus or cardiovascular disease.

This will allow scientists to identify the best way to reverse the diagnosis and therefore lower the risk of cardiovascular disease or diabetes.

In addition, the combination of results from a number of individual observational studies is being updated in order to quantify the increase in risk of developing diabetes mellitus or cardiovascular disease in individuals with Metabolic Syndrome (MetS) compared to those without.

Milena Castro, a PhD student working on this project, explained: “Metabolic Syndrome (MetS) is the clustering of cardiovascular risk factors leading to an increased risk of developing diabetes mellitus and/or cardiovascular disease.

“Although there are different definitions of MetS, the diagnosis is generally confirmed if a person has three of the following five risk factors: (i) insulin resistance, (ii) raised blood pressure, (iii) raised triglycerides, (iv) high cholesterol and (v) increased waist circumference.

“The results from this work have important public health implications given the increasing number of people with MetS.”

The research is being presented to the public at the University of Leicester on Thursday 26th June. The Festival of Postgraduate Research introduces employers and the public to the next generation of innovators and cutting-edge researchers, and gives postgraduate researchers the opportunity to explain the real world implications of their research to a wide ranging audience.

Milena Castro is a first year PhD student in the Department of Health Sciences, having previously gained a BSc in Statistics from Universidad de Costa Rica (UCR), Costa Rica, and a MSc in Clinical Epidemiology from Universidad de La Frontera, Chile, by distance-learning whilst working as a researcher in the Statistics Department at UCR. Her research is concerned with the role that Metabolic Syndrome (MetS) plays in the development of diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and how identification of individuals with MetS together with appropriate treatment may help to reduce future ill-health. Milena is jointly funded by Sanofi-Aventis and UCR. By completing her PhD, Milena hopes that her findings will improve the quality of life of individuals worldwide, and would like to establish herself as a researcher in this field in the future.

Milena’s supervisors are Professors Keith Abrams & Kamlesh Khunti, Department of Health Sciences, and Professor Melanie Davies, Department of Cardiovascular Sciences, University of Leicester.

More information about the Festival of Postgraduate Research is available at:

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