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US Air Force Provides Duke $3.2M to Study Diabetes, Heart Disease

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The US Air Force is providing $3.2 million to the Duke Center for Personalized and Precision Medicine to conduct research into diabetes and heart disease.

The funding comes from the US Air Force of Scientific Research. With it Duke scientists will conduct their research at the David Grant USAF Medical Center and the McClellan Veteran Affairs/Department of Defense clinic in California.

Allison Vorderstrasse from the Duke University School of Nursing and Ruth Wolever from Duke Integrative Medicine are heading one study that will explore whether knowledge of genetic risks for Type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease along with health coaching can help active Air Force personnel and their families change their diet and exercise routines to reduce their risks for disease onset.

In a second study, Deepak Voora from the Duke School of Medicine will investigate whether the use of pharmacogenetic testing for statins in treating high cholesterol can lead to fewer side effects and better adherence to the drug.

Both studies will focus on personalized approaches with each patient's genetic information being used to guide treatment and disease management, the David Grant USAF Medical Center said.

"Many people want to change habits to lower their risk of diseases like diabetes and heart disease, but they aren't always successful with a one-size-fits-all approach," Vorderstrasse said in a statement. "We want to see if people will make real changes in their health habits when they know about their own risk, both genetic and standard risk factors, and have one-on-one assistance in implementing those changes in health coaching."

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