European diabetes research drops by 25 per cent

By Editor
19th September 2017
Charity, Research

European diabetes research has fallen by 25 per cent since 2002, according to a “worrying” study into the subject.

Diabetes UK has looked into research across the world and found the number of European publications has fallen from 44 per cent of the global total in 2002 to just 33 per cent in 2015.

Dr Elizabeth Robertson, director of research at Diabetes UK, said: “The findings of this study highlight the lack of investment in diabetes research; diabetes is the fastest growing health problem of our time, and has the potential to be the most devastating. As a nation, we need to show the same commitment to tackling diabetes through research as we have done, successfully, with other serious health conditions.

The charity wants to see diabetes research receiving the same level of funding as other major health conditions, such as cancer and cardiovascular disease, across Europe. The current UK spend on cancer research is estimated to be around £500 million a year, cardiovascular disease research receives approximately £165 million a year, while diabetes research funding is at £60 million a year.

This year Diabetes UK has set up strategic diabetes clinical studies groups to ensure research into the condition in the UK happens at pace. The groups are designed to identify gaps in diabetes research and develop innovative ideas around prevention, treatment and management of diabetes. They bring together scientists, people living with diabetes and healthcare professionals.

Dr Robertson added: “Spending on diabetes research trails behind other serious conditions such as cancer and cardiovascular disease, but the diabetes crisis is not going away. With 4.5 million people living with the condition in the UK alone, and nearly 12 million at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, it’s time for the scientific community, government and industry to work together to drive innovation and excellence in diabetes research, in the UK and in Europe.”

Diabetes UK’s paper entitled European Diabetes Research and its Funding, 2002-2013 was published in the Diabetic Medicine journal.

Professor Richard Holt, professor in diabetes and endocrinology at the University of Southampton and editor-in-chief of Diabetic Medicine, said: “To match the need for diabetes research, governments and institutions need to encourage and facilitate the mobility of researchers and cross-country funding streams. Diabetes is a world-wide crisis and so diabetes research is increasingly becoming an international endeavour. We all need to work together to bring about change.”

To read the research paper, click here.

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