AusDiab to measure the effect of local environments on health

THE ONGOING AusDiab study into diabetes, obesity and lifestyle will for the first time assess the impact of the built environment on health.

Some 8300 participants will take part in the third round of the study, funded by the NHMRC, to measure blood pressure, cholesterol and blood glucose, and assess diet and other lifestyle factors.

Researchers led by Professor Paul Zimmet from the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute in Melbourne, will use geocoding to determine each participant’s proximity to walking tracks, bicycle paths and parkland, as well as the affordability of food from local supermarkets and restaurants, and assess how this affects their health.

AusDiab, which began in 1999, is the largest Australian longitudinal population based study examining the natural history of diabetes, heart disease and kidney disease.