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News

There's always something new to read about the Faculty, whether it's a new discovery by one of our academics, an award won by one of our students, or an upcoming event.

Most press releases will specify media contacts, but if in doubt, please get in touch with our Media Relations Officer, Michael Addelman, at michael.addelman@manchester.ac.uk or on +44 (0)161 275 2111.

Latest news

Test could detect patients at risk from lethal fungal spores
(20 September 2018)

Scientists at The University of Manchester have discovered a genetic mutation in humans linked to a 17-fold increase in the amount of dangerous fungal spores in the lungs.

Scientists develop new drug treatment for TB
(11 September 2018)

Scientists at The University of Manchester have developed the first non-antibiotic drug to successfully treat tuberculosis in animals.

Research exposes pitfalls of opening up on social media
(11 September 2018)

Opening up about your feelings on social media has an association with lower self-esteem, mood, paranoia and opinions about the self in comparison to others according to a new study.

High blood sugar during pregnancy ups risk of mother’s type 2 diabetes and child’s obesity
(11 September 2018)

Research conducted in part at The University of Manchester has found that mothers with elevated blood glucose during pregnancy – even if not high enough to meet the traditional definition of gestational diabetes – were significantly more likely to have developed type 2 diabetes a decade after pregnancy than their counterparts without high blood glucose.

For children born to mothers with elevated or normal glucose, researchers found no statistically significant difference between the two groups of children in terms of their combined overweight and obesity, the study’s primary outcome. However, when obesity was measured alone, children of mothers with elevated blood glucose were significantly more likely to be obese.

The results are part of a follow-up study published Sept. 11 in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Funded primarily by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), part of the National Institute of Health, and conducted at ten study sites, including The University of Manchester the Hyperglycemia and Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes-Follow-up Study or HAPO-FUS, followed mothers and their children 10-14 years after birth.

Professor Peter Clayton, who led the Manchester research team, said: “Here in Manchester, we recruited more than 500 mother-child pairs from the original HAPO study, conducted when the children were born. Many of the mothers and their children had also helped us with studies through childhood, as part of the Manchester Heart and Growth study.

“The work was carried out by our research team, which included Avni Vyas, Aysha Khan, Fiona Pritchard, Jane Howell and Andy Whatmore (from Developmental Biology & Medicine in the School of Medical Sciences), supported by the NIHR Manchester Clinical Research Facility and the Greater Manchester Clinical Research Network”.

The original HAPO study found that even modestly elevated blood glucose levels increased the risks of complications for the baby both before and shortly after birth. Based on these results many, but not all, organizations adopted a new definition of gestational diabetes, a type of diabetes that occurs during pregnancy.

HAPO-FUS compared the long-term effects of blood glucose levels in mothers who would have met the new definition of gestational diabetes with those who did not. Researchers aimed to learn if modest increases in blood glucose increased the mother’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes or prediabetes and the risk of obesity in the mother’s offspring at least a decade after giving birth.

The study found the harms of even modestly elevated blood glucose for both mother and child extend more than a decade. Among women with elevated blood glucose during pregnancy, nearly 11 percent had type 2 diabetes at the follow-up study visit 10-14 years after childbirth and about 42 percent had prediabetes. Of their counterparts who did not have elevated blood glucose during pregnancy, about 2 percent had type 2 diabetes and about 18 percent had prediabetes. The study examined 4,697 mothers for type 2 diabetes, prediabetes and other disorders of glucose metabolism.

Researchers analyzed 4,832 children for overweight and obesity, collecting data using body mass index (BMI), body fat percentage, skin fold thickness and waist circumference. They found that these measures all showed that children born to mothers with elevated glucose levels were more likely to be obese. For example, using BMI, 19 percent of children born to mothers with elevated blood glucose were obese, compared with 10 percent for children of mothers with normal glucose.

Adjusting for the mother’s BMI reduced – but did not eliminate – the differences between the groups.

“The differences in mothers and their children due to the mother’s higher blood glucose are very concerning. Even accounting for the mother’s weight, glucose had an independent effect,” said Dr. Barbara Linder, a study author and senior advisor for childhood diabetes research at the NIDDK. “Our findings add to the motivation to find ways to help women at high risk for gestational diabetes who are or plan to get pregnant to take steps to reduce their risk.”

The original HAPO study looked at 23,316 mother-child pairs and found that a mother’s blood sugar levels, even short of diabetes, were associated with her newborn’s birth weight and body fat. HAPO results led an international panel of experts to recommend new diagnostic criteria for gestational diabetes in 2010. However, not all professional groups adopted these proposed criteria.

“HAPO helped redefine gestational diabetes, and now its follow up continues to raise important alarms about the long-term danger of high blood glucose levels during pregnancy,” said study chair Dr. Boyd Metzger, emeritus Tom D. Spies Professor of Nutrition and Metabolism at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago. “This study shows that both mothers with elevated blood glucose levels and their offspring are at higher risk for adverse health effects later in life. More research is needed to find interventions to help both these women and their children.” None of the women in HAPO-FUS were diagnosed with or treated for gestational diabetes during their pregnancy. HAPO recruited an international, racially and ethnically diverse group. Limitations of the data in HAPO include that body mass index was obtained during pregnancy, not before. As well, HAPO-FUS did not collect data on the women or children’s lifestyles to evaluate other factors that could contribute to obesity or type 2 diabetes.

The results build on findings from other studies showing that type 2 diabetes in mothers during pregnancy is associated with obesity in that mother’s offspring and that elevated blood glucose increases risk of type 2 diabetes in the woman after pregnancy.

“HAPO and its follow-up study have shown the detrimental long-term effects of elevated blood glucose on both mother and child and the importance of early intervention for women at risk for gestational diabetes,” said NIDDK Director Dr. Griffin P. Rodgers. “We hope these results will be used to improve the health of generations to come.”

HAPO-FUS was conducted at 10 clinical centers around the world

Body clock could be key to better Asthma treatment
(10 September 2018)

The human body clock could have a significant impact on the way doctors are able to diagnose and treat asthma, according to new research.

Burnout in doctors has shocking impact on care, review finds
(5 September 2018)

Burnout in doctors has devastating consequences on the quality of care they deliver, according to a large scale systematic review and meta-analysis.

New figures show 138 million women suffer from recurrent thrush
(3 August 2018)

Around 138 million women are affected by a distressing but treatable fungal infection world-wide, according to a research review by University of Manchester scientists.

Action plan can prevent over 600 stillbirths a year
(30 July 2018)

An estimated 600 stillbirths annually could be prevented if maternity units adopt national best practice according to an independent evaluation which includes University of Manchester experts.

Light device is effective ulcer treatment
(26 July 2018)

University of Manchester and Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust scientists have developed a lamp which could treat chronic ulcers with light.

Hidden abuse of Nigerian women revealed by researcher
(25 July 2018)

A study of 16 Nigerian women living with domestic abuse has shown how they are too frightened of being deported to ask for help from the UK authorities.

Manchester celebrates forty years since first test tube baby birth
(23 July 2018)

The world's first “test tube” baby was conceived by IVF in Greater Manchester, at Dr Kershaw's Hospital in Royton. Louise Brown was born at Oldham General Hospital forty years ago on 25 July 1978.

New study highlights Alzheimer’s herpes link, experts say
(12 July 2018)

A new commentary by scientists at the Universities of Manchester and Edinburgh on a study by Taiwanese epidemiologists supports the viability of a potential way to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Manchester showcases its ageing credentials
(11 July 2018)

The region is holding a Festival of Ageing - and The University of Manchester has just had a week of major activities which highlighted its enormous strength and depth of ageing research.

New world-leading precision medicine campus set to open in Manchester
(11 July 2018)

Proposals have been announced to create a world-leading precision medicine campus in the Corridor Manchester Enterprise Zone, located on the UK’s largest clinical academic campus - Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust.

Survey asks public for insights into ethnic inequalities in mental health care
(11 July 2018)

The first national online survey to give members of the public the opportunity to set the research priorities in the field of ethnic inequalities and severe mental illness has been launched today.

Director of major research centre to head up Manchester faculty
(9 July 2018)

Professor Graham Lord, a leading clinical academic and the Director of one of the country’s major biomedical research centres is to join The University of Manchester as Vice-President and Dean of the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health.

New therapy could treat children with Hunter disease
(6 July 2018)

A team at The University of Manchester have developed a novel stem cell gene therapy approach to treat children with a devastating genetic disease. The approach is currently being developed for clinical trial in patients with the disease.

University secures lottery funding to record the NHS’s 70-year history
(5 July 2018)

The University of Manchester has secured a National Lottery grant of £785,000 for ’NHS at 70: The Story of Our Lives’. The project will create the first shared social history of the National Health Service.

Policy units to help set health agenda for ageing population and health commissioning
(2 July 2018)

The University of Manchester has been awarded funding for two Policy Research Units to explore how the health needs of the ageing population are to be met and to investigate how health and care systems and commissioning will look in the future.

Largest ever primary care multimorbidity trial challenges current thinking
(29 June 2018)

In the largest ever trial of an intervention to treat people with multiple long-term conditions (multimorbidity) in primary care, researchers at the Universities of Bristol, Manchester, Dundee and Glasgow found that the patient-centred approach taken improved patients’ experience of their care but did not improve their health-related quality of life. This is a challenge to current thinking on which UK and international guidelines are based.

Agreement takes new therapy for rare brain disease to next stage
(28 June 2018)

University of Manchester scientists have developed a new gene therapy they hope will treat children with a rare but devastating brain disease, and plan to take it to clinical trial in the near future.

Drug treatment has profound effect on cerebral malaria in mice
(25 June 2018)

A potential new way of treating cerebral malaria has been discovered by scientists at the Universities of Manchester and Glasgow, in a study using mice.

Phone insomniac? Sleepy smart screen could be the answer
(21 June 2018)

The light produced by mobile phones which may stop us from feeling sleepy, can be modified to give us all a well-earned rest, say scientists from the Universities of Manchester and Basel.

Test could help avoid antibiotic related deafness in newborn babies
(21 June 2018)

A new genetic test that could identify the risk of, and therefore help to avoid permanent antibiotic-related hearing loss in newborn babies is being developed in Manchester

Nurses attitudes are key to better compliance with infection control practices
(20 June 2018)

A study in the United States has shown that attitudes among community nurses are important for their compliance with infection control practices.

Study unmasks scale of patient doctor divide
(14 June 2018)

A survey has estimated that around three million Britons - or 7.6 % of the country - believe they have experienced a harmful or potentially harmful but preventable problem in primary healthcare.

University community recognised in Queen’s Birthday Honours
(11 June 2018)

The University of Manchester’s Professor of New Writing, Jeanette Winterson has been made a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, announced over the weekend.

Mayor of Greater Manchester opens new training hub for surgeons
(6 June 2018)

The Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, will officially open the Royal College of Surgeons’ new Outreach hub at The University of Manchester Innovation Centre today (6 June). The new hub will give the RCS a full-time, staffed presence in the North and Midlands.

Patient tells how tiny Welsh society was inspiration for NHS
(5 June 2018)

A little-known medical aid society in South Wales inspired Aneurin Bevan to create the NHS, according to unique audio on a digital archive launched today, one month before the service’s seventieth anniversary.

Copying movements could help manage Parkinson's
(1 June 2018)

New research by University of Manchester psychologists has revealed that imitation of movement can help people with Parkinson’s.