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Local man celebrates weight loss thanks to new diabetes research


An Oadby resident has been sharing his delight about a medicine he has been taking as part of a clinical trial, which is helping him to lose weight and gain energy. The medicine – called dapagliflozin - is part of a study sponsored by University of Leicester and being carried out at the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Patient Recruitment Centre (PRC): Leicester, which is based at Leicester General Hospital.


Gulabbhai Patel, 74, said: “I joined this study to give me different ideas on how to change my lifestyle in order to become healthier. So far I have lost 5kg in weight and feel more energetic than before. I always look forward to my next gym session. The research staff are very nice and generous; they look after me very well.”

Mr Patel has type 2 diabetes mellitus, a disease characterised by high blood sugar levels that is also known to affect whole body health and fitness. People with type 2 diabetes may find their physical health declines at an earlier age than someone without diabetes, making everyday activities harder. Being overweight can make this even worse.

Several treatments for type 2 diabetes help with weight loss, with the potential to also improve overall physical health. Dapagliflozin is widely used in routine clinical care. It works by reducing blood sugar levels and also helps with weight loss. However the extent to which dapagliflozin can also help improve overall physical health is not known.

This study is looking at whether dapagliflozin can be used to improve overall physical health, measured by how easy it is to undertake activities of daily living, and whether combining it with a programme of exercise can make the benefits even greater. Researchers are also interested in the effect of dapagliflozin without exercise on blood sugar levels, as well as its impact on health as measured by blood tests, the heart’s pumping ability and tests of physical activity.

Participants will be randomly assigned to one of three groups. Those in the exercise group, like Mr Patel, will be required to take part in 3 x 60 minute exercise sessions a week. A qualified team member will personalise an exercise plan for each participant based on their ability, factoring in any personal goals or needs. Participants can choose to use the gym facilities on site, free of charge, or conduct their exercise sessions at home with virtual support from the team.

This single site study taking place only in Leicester is aiming to recruit 135 participants.

Melanie Davies, Professor of Diabetes Medicine, University of Leicester, Clinical Director of the NIHR Patient Recruitment Centre: Leicester and Principal Investigator for the study, said: “We are still looking for local people to join this trial. Some participants - like Mr Patel - are already experiencing weight loss, which they are reporting is helping them to feel healthier.”

“I’m so pleased to hear how positive Mr Patel’s experience has been so far. At Patient Recruitment Centre: Leicester we prioritise our participants’ experience. We offer each person a personalised, concierge-style service throughout their research journey and regularly ask for feedback to see if further improvements can be made.”

If you are interested in taking part or would like further information, visit our website https://www.leicesterbrc.nihr.ac.uk/themes/lifestyle/research/deta/ or contact the study team by emailing DETA@uhl-tr.nhs.uk or call 0116 258 8897.

For media enquiries and interview requests, please contact:

Rachael Dowling, Head of Research Communications

Rachael.dowling@uhl-tr.nhs.uk or 07950 891193 (Monday/Friday)

Rosalind Moore, Communications and Engagement Manager

Rosalind.Moore@uhl-tr.nhs.uk or 07929 862697 (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday)