Millions of people in the UK have been invited to join what will be one of the largest health studies ever conducted.
The Our Future Health research program aims to find new ways to prevent, detect and treat different diseases.
This autumn more than 3 million letters will be sent to members of the British public, inviting them to join the study.
Ultimately, the study will involve up to 5 million people, making it the largest health research program in the UK.
The study will provide new insights into a range of diseases and has been welcomed by health chiefs across the UK.
Dr Chris MacDonald, head of research at Pancreatic Cancer UK, said the data collected by the study “will provide valuable insights into the health of the nation over time, allowing us to learn more about a wide range of diseases. , including pancreatic cancer, and study the signals present in blood samples even many years before diagnosis.”
“This is particularly exciting for us, as pancreatic cancer is often detected too late for treatment, with more than 80 percent of people diagnosed in the later stages. The insights gained through Our Future Health will be invaluable and will undoubtedly help improve early diagnosis and save lives.”
Building a picture of health at the national level
The study will analyze health data and blood samples from volunteers who join.
This means there will be data on millions of people, who will be given the option to get feedback on their health in the future, including their risk of common diseases, which could be determined through their health data and analysis of their DNA.
They will also have the opportunity to see the results of their blood pressure and cholesterol measurements.
Researchers will be able to explore the uses of genetic risk scores in health care and how they might improve screening programs, diagnostic tests and targeted treatments.
Ultimately, the study could help health care providers more accurately predict who is at higher risk for conditions such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, dementia and stroke.
Due to the number of volunteers who will take part, those running the study believe it should accurately reflect the UK population and include people who have previously been under-represented in health research, including people of black, Asian and other backgrounds. ethnic.
Dr. Raghib Ali, Medical Director of Our Future Health, said: “Millions of people today spend many years of their lives in poor health and all too often we can only treat disease when our patients start showing symptoms.
“Volunteering to join Our Future Health is an opportunity to change that. With the help of up to five million people, we will be able to dramatically improve our understanding of how to detect and prevent disease so that everyone can live longer in good health in the future.”
Currently, people over the age of 18 from the West Yorkshire, West Midlands, Greater Manchester and Greater London regions are invited to participate.
Those who volunteer will consent to the program accessing their health records, complete a questionnaire and schedule an appointment to have some tests and measurements taken.
People outside of those regions can join the program right away and will be able to book an appointment when more locations are added in the coming months.