IntroductionStudy will explore responses to being 'at risk' of Type 2 diabetes.
Egenis Research Fellow Dr Hannah Farrimond has been awarded more than £4,000 by the Richard Benjamin Trust for a pilot project researching how people respond to having a family history of diabetes. The project, ‘,’ will investigate the social representations of diabetes, inheritance and genetics among family members with familial diabetes risk, with the aim of feeding back findings to improve healthcare for ‘at risk’ families.
“Type 2 diabetes is estimated to affect more than two million people in the UK, with more than 400,000 undiagnosed,” said Dr Farrimond. “Having a family history of diabetes increases an individual’s risk by two to five times. However, to date, family histories have received less attention in relation to diabetes than for other diseases.
“It is not clear whether knowing there is Type 2 diabetes in the family encourages people to change their lifestyles to prevent it, or to be fatalistic about their risk because it is common in the family. We need to understand not only why individuals and families with family histories do respond to lifestyle advice, but also why they might not do so. Families where one or more members have Type 2 diabetes will be interviewed to find out how they view their familial risk.
“Using family history to identify and intervene with individuals and families ‘at risk’ of Type 2 diabetes is a potentially cheap and effective preventive strategy that could be delivered by nurses or GPs,” added Dr Farrimond. “The outcomes of this study will help us understand how families think about their risk of Type 2 diabetes and how it might be prevented.”