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Diabetes patients to be matched up with research projects

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Diabetes sufferers could be matched up with research projects that aim to find a cure for the disease, under new plans.

The recruitment drive is being compared to a “dating agency”, as patients will be put in contact with researchers.

About 30% of cancer sufferers are thought to be participating in clinical trials, but under 1% of diabetes patients do, according to researchers.

There are about 2.8 million known diabetes sufferers in the UK.

However, an extra 800,000 people could be suffering with the disease but are unaware that they have it, charity Diabetes UK said.

Most diabetes sufferers only see their GP, which is partly why researchers have struggled to find patients.

Three English regions have been picked to host a pilot scheme that hopes to offer 25,000 patients with diabetes the opportunity to participate in clinical trials or other types of research.

North-east London, the north west of England and the South West are all having recruitment drives.

Professor Martin Gibson from Salford Royal Infirmary’s Diabetes Research Network says in order to find better diabetes treatments, or a cure for the disease, clinical trials are essential.

Around 10% of the NHS UK budget is spent on illnesses that relate to the disease, according to an estimate by Diabetes UK.

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