Qatar Diabetes Prevention Programme set to activate diabetes research in early 2020

The Qatar Diabetes Prevention Programme (QDPP), a research project expected to transform the way for diabetes prevention, will start recruitment of subjects in early 2020. 

Dubbed as the region’s largest diabetes research project, QDPP will be conducted by Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) led by the Qatar Metabolic Institute (QMI) of the Academic Health System (AHS). 

The research programme aims to identify the best methods to predict, prevent, and reverse type 2 diabetes, Professor Abdul-Badi Abou-Samra, Director of the Qatar Metabolic Institute (QMI), Chairman of Internal Medicine at HMC, and Director of the QDPP, told The Peninsula.

The five-year programme is funded by Qatar Foundation’s Qatar National Research Fund and co-funded by HMC. The QDPP research project supports the National Diabetes Strategy, led by the Ministry of Public Health.

“It is a unique research happening in our region that will help us discover the best way to prevent diabetes in the region. For example, the diabetes prevention programmes done in the US, initially held for five years and then extended for additional 10 years, established the fact that diabetes can be prevented by lifestyle modification and by some medication” he said. 

“But the US experience may not be relevant to Qatar’s culture and environment. We need to discover the best method that is applicable in Qatar to prevent diabetes and to reverse the course of diabetes,” said Professor Abou-Samra. 

Individuals between 18 and 60 years of age who are at high risk for diabetes such as having pre-diabetes or a history of gestational diabetes; and those who are newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes (less than five years), are eligible to participate in the programme. 

“At present 17 to 20 percent of adult population in Qatar have diabetes and 20-25 percent have pre-diabetes. If we are able to prevent or reverse the course of diabetes in Qatar, it will have a major impact on the population health and the economy of Qatar,” he added. 

The QDPP is comprised of seven complementary sub-projects: Project 1 aims to prevent the progression of pre-diabetes into type 2 diabetes; Project 2 aims to find the best method to prevent gestational diabetes in subjects with diabetes risk factors discovered in pre-marital screening. Project 3 aims to find the best method to prevent progression of gestational diabetes into type 2 diabetes. 

Project 4 aims to achieve diabetes remission in patients with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes; Project 5 aims to identify genetic factors associated with pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes; Project 6 aims to identify proteomic and metabolic markers, associated with pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes; and Project 7 aims to develop eHealth tools and mobile apps to support lifestyle intervention for diabetes prevention and management.

The flagship research programme is the result of a multi-institutional research collaboration between healthcare, education, and research organisations. The collaboration includes investigators from HMC, PHCC, Weill Cornell College of Medicine, Qatar Biomedical Research Institute, Qatar Computing Research Institute of HBKU, Qatar Genome Programme, Qatar Biobank, Qatar Diabetes Association, Sidra and Droobi Health.

As seen on Peninsula Qatar  Image Credits Peninsula Qatar