The West Midlands has the highest prevalence of diabetes in the UK, affecting about 8% of the population. This is due to a number of factors, including the prevalence of diabetes in certain ethnic groups and high levels of deprivation in the region.

University Hospitals Birmingham provides care for about 6,200 patients with diabetes. We have about 4,500 patients with type two diabetes, which is the most common form. A further 1,200 have Type 1 diabetes, with a small number also treated for more uncommon forms such as pregnancy-related, post-transplant and steroid-induced diabetes.

University Hospitals Birmingham is extremely active in diabetes research. We work with collaborators locally, nationally as well as internationally to develop and test new approaches to managing this condition. Some of the areas we are currently investigating are listed on the areas of research page.

Basic science

Diabetes clinicians work closely with colleagues at the University of Birmingham, particularly looking at the way the human immune system interacts with diabetes.

Commercial trials

The diabetes team works with commercial partners to trial new drugs for use in treating both type 1 and type 2 diatebes.

Non-commercial studies

A wide range of non-commercial work is underpinned by the Chronic Disease Research Centre (CDRC), a major partnership between UHB, Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham Charity and the Birmingham & Black Country Comprehensive Local Research Network.

It is designed to collect and study the natural history of a number of diseases and their associated complications. The centre will provide opportunities for information sharing and networking by bringing together clinicians and researchers involved in managing a variety of chronic diseases, such as diabetes, asthma, arthritis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and (COPD) and kidney disease.

The aim of the centre is to encourage research partnerships which will enhance our understanding of chronic disease, and to build an integrated approach to developing long-term prevention and treatment strategies.

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