Millions of people have been invited to take part in the world’s largest health research program

More than three million adults in the UK have been invited to take part in one of the largest health research programs in the world.

In what is considered one of the most ambitious projects of its kind, Our Future Health plans to develop new ways to detect diseases earlier, when they can be cured more easily, and more accurately predict who is most at risk for diseases such as cancer. diabetes, heart disease, dementia and stroke.

Volunteers will also include people who have previously been underrepresented in scientific studies, such as people of Black, Asian and other ethnic origin and people with lower incomes.

Dr Raghib Ali, chief medical officer of Our Future Health, said: “One of the things we have not been able to do (in the past) was to recruit enough people of non-European descent, so (for) people of South Asian and Black Asian communities, we did not have sufficient numbers to examine diseases in those populations.

“Our future health will allow us, for the first time, to do this on an efficient scale.”

Eventually, up to five million people over the age of 18 will have the opportunity to join Our Future Health over the next few years, which scientists say will include “thousands of people from ethnic minorities.”

Program participants are expected to be present for an extended period and must agree to provide DNA and blood samples.

Health data collected from participants will be anonymised and stored in research environments that meet stringent security criteria, the researchers said.

Volunteers will have the opportunity in the future to receive feedback on their health, including the risk of common diseases, based on their health data and DNA analysis.

Results of blood pressure and cholesterol measurements will also be offered.

People living in West Yorkshire, the West Midlands, Greater Manchester and Greater London will be among the first to receive the letters.

Professor Sir John Bell, president of Our Future Health, said: “The ambition is to try to create a sandbox to test and evaluate these early diagnostic or prevention strategies on a large population of three to five people. million of people.

“And we will be able to use that population to help us evaluate these new tools, diagnose disease earlier, prevent disease more effectively, and intervene at an earlier stage.”

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