05:43pm Friday 15 November 2019

Study hopes to find out the benefits of exercise in Type 1 diabetes

The two-phased study will be based in local hospitals across the South West.

Type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune disease, accounts for between five and 15 per cent of all people with diabetes and is treated by daily insulin injections, a healthy diet and regular physical activity.  The disease develops when the immune system goes into overdrive and attacks the body’s normal cells instead of foreign invaders.

Dr Rob Andrews, Consultant Senior Lecturer in the School of Clinical Sciences at the University of Bristol, who is leading the study, said: “In Type 1 diabetes, the immune system targets and eventually destroys the insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas, leading to increased levels of blood sugars.  The study aims to find out with people in the early stage of this condition if regular exercise can preserve beta cell function.” 

The ExTOD (Benefits of exercise in Type 1 diabetes) study is a randomised controlled trial that consists of two parts.

In phase one the team will recruit ten people from across the South West to discuss, in a one off interview, what helps facilitate exercise, the barriers to exercise and the participants’ feelings towards exercise.

Phase two of the trial is the intervention phase of the study with the recruitment of 30 people from across the South West, eight to 12 from Bristol, who will randomly be allocated to either a standard care or exercise group for a year.  Participants will be asked to measure any changes in their diabetes by fitness tests, blood tests and with study questionnaires and diaries.

Funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Research for Patient Benefit programme, this study aims to assess the effect of physical activity in the early years of Type 1 diabetes.  The study is a joint venture between the universities of Bristol and Birmingham. 

The ExTOD (Benefits of exercise in Type 1 diabetes) study is now recruiting volunteers.  If you are between 16-60 years old, have been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes within the last 12 weeks, and would like to know more about the study, please contact Nikki Jackson, the Trial Co-ordinator on tel 0117 342 2440 or 0117 342 2154.  


Please contact joanne.fryer@bristol.ac.uk for further information.

Further information:

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) provides the framework through which the research staff and research infrastructure of the NHS in England is positioned, maintained and managed as a national research facility. The NIHR provides the NHS with the support and infrastructure it needs to conduct first-class research funded by the Government and its partners alongside high-quality patient care, education and training. Its aim is to support outstanding individuals (both leaders and collaborators), working in world-class facilities (both NHS and university), conducting leading-edge research focused on the needs of patients.

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