UBC Okanagan leads international diabetes research team

Dr. Ali McManus will be leading the international diabetes research team. UBCO

A UBC Okanagan professor has been named the lead for a 13-person team that recently won an “internationally-competitive” $1-million award to accelerate diabetes research.

The team was created through a partnership between the Canadian Institute for Health and the UK Medical Research Council.

They have launched the new MOTIVATE-TD2, a program that connects diabetic patients with specialized health workers online and will help patients exercise regularly, in their own homes.

“Being physically active and exercising is critical for the management of Type 2 diabetes,” said Dr. Ali McManus, a UBCO health and exercise sciences professor.

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“Exercise helps people with diabetes control their blood sugar and reduce other serious health risks associated with the condition.”

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Participants with Type 2 diabetes will be given cloud-connected heart rate monitors and receive individually tailored feedback from an exercise specialist to help them start, and stick with, exercise over a one-year period, according to the university.

“Given that the exercise is performed at home and the counselling delivered virtually, the team in Kelowna is recruiting participants from across Canada for this research study,” staff wrote in a release.

McManus said the team will work together to accelerate diabetes research and improve the lives of those living with diabetes in Canada and the U.K.

By 2022, 2.16 million new cases of diabetes are expected in Canada, resulting in a predicted $15.36 billion in health-care costs related to managing the disease, according to the university.

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