Bangladeshi and Pakistani communities in Redbridge invited to take part in groundbreaking genetics study

Ilford doctor Mehul Mathukia who is part of a project to find out why people of Bangladeshi and Paki

Ilford doctor Mehul Mathukia who is part of a project to find out why people of Bangladeshi and Pakistani origin suffer high rates of diabetes and heart disease - Credit: Archant

More than 500 residents have taken part in the world’s largest community-based study designed to identify rare genes resistant to heart disease, strokes and diabetes.

The East London Genes and Health study has been analysing the genetic information of South Asian people over the past year in a ground-breaking study.

Patients at Mathukia’s Surgery in Ilford Lane, who are of Pakistani and Bangladeshi origin, took part.

Dr Mehul Mathukia, a clinical director for Redbridge Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said he was thrilled to take such an active role in the project.

He said: “By supporting this work we’re giving individuals the opportunity to make a difference for generations to come.

“In my surgery I come across so many patients from the Bangladeshi and Pakistani communities

living with heart disease and diabetes.

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“Offering my patients the opportunity to participate in this research now means that we’re likely to have access to more effective treatments for these diseases in the future.”

The adult Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities in east London suffer twice the average number of deaths from heart disease and five times the rate of type 2 diabetes.

Doctors hope this study will highlight people who are unexpectedly healthy, due to their resilient genes.

It will be used to inform future research into possible preventions, treatments and cures.

More than 20,000 people have taken part in the study so far, which is run by Barts Health NHS Trust and Queen Mary University of London.

Mohammed Miah, who has already taken part, said: “My wife and I took up the opportunity to get involved.

“We have a young family and we hope that being part of this research will provide our children, and other young people, with the chance of longer, healthier lives.”

If you would like to help the study, all people need to do is donate a saliva sample.

This will be examined for genetic information and checked against your health records.

To find out more or to take part, click here.