South Asian heritage residents invited to health assessment study

Date: 23/02/2024 | Category: News 2024

Buckinghamshire residents of South Asian heritage can find out more about their health through a county research study.

Those who join the South Asia BioBank (LOLIPOP 100K) study at Wycombe Hospital undergo a 90-minute series of tests including blood pressure, an electrocardiogram heart test and retina checks.

They then receive a report about their results, providing insights into their general health.

It is hoped results will also help researchers identify why South Asian heritage people are at high risk of heart disease, diabetes and other critical illnesses.

More than 4,100 people have taken part in the study at the hospital since it opened in February 2022, making it the second largest ever study at Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, which runs the hospital. Discussions are being held about opening the study at other sites in the county.

South Asian heritage people have twice the risk of cardiovascular disease and three-times the risk of diabetes compared to other Europeans. These differences are not explained by ‘classic’ risk factors, including insulin resistance and obesity, or known genetics factors.

Anonymised data will feed into the South Asia Biobank for researchers to access to analyse why these conditions affect South Asian heritage people more.

The biobank aims to be the largest worldwide biological data resource to determine how and why disease susceptibility differs across populations.

Taking part in the study can involve:

  • A questionnaire about participants’ health
  • Measurement of height, weight, waist and hip size and body fat
  • A blood pressure check
  • A electrocardiogram (ECG) to measure heart rhythm and electrical activity
  • A photograph of the back of the eyes
  • A blood and urine sample

Researchers will follow participants’ health through NHS and other health related records for 20 or more years to give a fuller picture of disease prevalence. Consent for this and all other aspects of the study are obtained from the participant before they take part.

Nicola Bowers, Head of Research and Innovation at Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, said: “Eligible individuals can take advantage of this thorough free health assessment, which offers education on lifestyle changes that can improve health.

“Results to date are exceptionally encouraging at identifying risk factors which can often be treated and potentially prevent future onset of cardiovascular disease.”

The study is co-led by the trust’s Dr Piers Clifford and Professor Jaspal Kooner, of London’s Imperial College. It is funded by The Wellcome Trust, sponsored by Imperial College and supported by National Institute for Health and Care Research.

For more information and to register visit or call 0204 542 8494. Some Buckinghamshire GP are also contacting patients by text message to ask if they would like to take part.