GIFTS has been established to improve diabetes prevention through an enhanced understanding of early life programming. Three key objectives of the program, which will enable this ambition to be achieved, are outlined here:
- Use of results generated by GIFTS to inform public health policy via guideline development in Europe and South Asia.
- Dissemination of key outputs to stake holders in diabetes prevention, including healthcare professionals and South Asian communities.
- Use of the results and expertise gained from GIFTS to design a large-scale pragmatic intervention for diabetes prevention in people of South Asian origin.
Specific objectives, which will allow the key objectives to be achieved, are as follows:
- To enhance understanding of the early life determinants of diabetes, obesity and metabolic syndrome in people of South Asian origin which give rise to variation in disease prevalence.
- Establish an international consortium based on understanding the early life determinants of diabetes, obesity and metabolic syndrome. Aim for strong co-operation and adoption of common protocols across different geographic regions within this consortium.
- Maximise opportunities for success by leveraging existing infrastructure and promoting interdisciplinary research by world class experts in Europe and Asia.
- Family trios of South Asians, both in their native countries and migrant populations across Europe, will be studied. Early life determinants of growth and development will be investigated to identify the importance of genomic, biological and lifestyle factors determining future disease risk.
- Generation of hypotheses will be driven by understanding early life predictors of cardiometabolic disease. Consideration will be given to epidemiological, nutritional, genomic and societal data. The genomic and epigenomic components will include use of state-of-the-art techniques to uncover specific gene-environment interactions, modifiable through intervention.
- Complementary pilot intervention and prevention strategies in South Asia, combined with qualitative studies investigating barriers to equitable healthcare access, will test how outcomes may be translated directly into clinical care across widely differing settings.