Health researchers target diabetes

International academics will tackle key health issues facing New Zealand's most vulnerable populations, at a one-day research symposium to be hosted by the Research Centre for Maori Health and Development on 30 October.

Centre director Professor Chris Cunningham says the focus will be on identifying the research agenda for combating Metabolic Syndrome in New Zealand, including the benefits of early identification of insulin resistance, and the role of exercise and nutrition.

Participants include Stanford University academic Professor Gerald Reaven, who in 1988 first introduced the idea that abdominal obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes have a common link which is insulin resistance and impaired glucose tolerance. He called this clustering of symptoms Syndrome X which is more recently known among other names as the Metabolic Syndrome.

Iconic New Zealand athlete and University of Texas exercise scientist Associate Professor Peter Snell and Australian expert on nutrition and Aboriginal health Professor Kerin O'Dea will also take part.

"It's a coup to be able to bring the best expertise in the World to Wellington to discuss how research can help ease the burden of diabetes in Maori and New Zealand," says Professor Cunningham. "It's an opportunity too good to miss."

Limited to 200 participants, Insulin Resistance, Diabetes and Vulnerable Populations will be held at the Museum Theatre, at the University's Wellington campus.

Registration details can be found at: http://publichealth.massey.ac.nz/meetings.htm

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