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Norwich scientists seek older people for health study

PUBLISHED: 10:49 30 July 2012 | UPDATED: 11:00 30 July 2012

Researchers at the UEA are looking for older people to take part in a health study.

Researchers at the UEA are looking for older people to take part in a health study.

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Researchers are appealing for older people from Norwich to volunteer for a study which will see them monitored for a year to look at what role diet plays in the ageing process.

The University of East Anglia has been selected as the only UK trials centre in a unique European project exploring the effects of diet on healthy ageing.

And they are looking for volunteers aged 65 to 79 to take part in the NU-AGE study, which will be run in parallel with four identical ones in France, Italy, the Netherlands and Poland.

There are a wide range of factors that influence the ageing process, but lifestyle, and in particular diet, are the easiest to change.

The study aims to explore how a healthy diet can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, dementia and other disorders which can happen in later life.

Prof Susan Fairweather-Tait, from Norwich Medical School, is the lead researcher for the UEA study and said: “In this unique European study we will be focussing on the role of diet in maintaining the health of older people.

“For a year we will follow volunteers from five different European countries, with different genetic backgrounds and lifestyles, and from the results we hope to identify what makes an individual more likely to have a long and healthy life.”

The researchers are looking for men and women aged 65-79 to take part in the study. They need to be living independently, without recent diagnosis of disease, able to participate in the study for a whole year, and ideally living in or around Norwich.

Simple changes to dietary habits will be encouraged amongst half of the participants, whilst the other half will be asked to keep to their usual diet and lifestyle.

Food intake will be recorded using food diaries, and the effect of dietary patterns on health will be measured using a variety of tests.

During the year participants will need to attend the university for at least two visits, which will include blood sampling, bone density scans, cognitive function and physical ability assessments.

They will also be visited at home by a member of the study team.

For more information about the study or to volunteer, contact the study team on 01603 591568 or nuage@uea.ac.uk

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