Bangladeshi and Pakistani residents in Redbridge partake in pioneering genetics programme to discover cause behind high rates of certain diseases in their communities

By Rudi Abdallah in Health

MORE than 500 members of the Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities in Redbridge are taking part in what is being described as “one of the biggest community-based genetics research studies in the world”.

Patients are taking part in The East London Genes and Health study, which analyses the genetic information of people from those communities to find out why they are prone to diabetes, heart disease and strokes.

Dr Methul Mathukia, clinical director at Redbridge Clinical Commissioning Group, has been actively involved in pioneering the study.

He praised the potential long-term benefits of the study’s findings, saying: “By supporting this work we’re giving individuals the opportunity to make a difference for generations to come.”

Dr Mathukia added that first-hand experience dealing with patients suffering from the diseases in question ensures more data is collected.

He said: “In my surgery I come across so many patients from the Bangladeshi and Pakistani communities living with heart disease and diabetes. Offering my patients the opportunity to participate in this research now means that we’re likely to have access to more effective treatments for these diseases in the future.”

Participants offer a saliva sample which is examined and checked against health records.

The study recently reached the milestone of 20,000 participants and aims to collect information from 100,000 people across east London by 2020.

To find out more or take part, visit www.genesandhealth.org.

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