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Diabetes is a common life-long health condition. One in 20 people in Scotland have diabetes - the majority (88.2%) have type 2 diabetes and nearly 11% have type 1 diabetes (Scottish Government, 2014). It is thought that a further 49,000 people have undiagnosed type 2 diabetes (ScotPHO) and Diabetes UK estimates that at least 620,000 people in Scotland are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes.  

To improve our understanding of the impact of changing diabetes care on our population, the complications associated with diabetes and the development of new therapies, NRS Diabetes, led by Professor Rory McCrimmon, supports the setup and delivery of clinical and epidemiological research across Scotland.

A wide range of studies is conducted in the NHS focusing on methods of treatment, diagnosis, care and prevention of diabetes and diabetes-related complications. This work also helps support our understanding of the causes of diabetes. Recent studies have included: 

  • internationally funded trials in type 1 diabetes (Bioresource)
  • a range of commercial trials of novel therapies for people with diabetes
  • a groundbreaking multicentre trial of insulin pump therapy (REPOSE)
  • novel trials of pharmacogenomics (DIRECT)
  • rates of amputation in people with diabetes

Scotland can also draw on a series of unique research assets to support research including:

  • SCI-Diabetes (Scottish Care Information - Diabetes), which tracks real-time clinical information on all 300,000 people with type I and type II Diabetes in Scotland. It is updated daily from all hospital clinics and 1,200 GP practices. This unique record can be interrogated to examine the natural history of the disease, trends in treatment and clinical outcomes such as those carried out by the Diabetes Epidemiology group, and has been successfully employed to recruit to clinical studies.


  • Diabetes Research Register. Over 17,500 patients have consented to be part of an electronic database of patients who have agreed to be contacted about research for which they are eligible. This research register uses the latest clinical data on each patient to identify suitable patients for studies, thus increasing the recruitment rate and decreasing the screen failure rate. Click here to access the Diabetes Register User Guide for Researchers


  • GoDARTS is a high-quality resource, initially funded by the Wellcome Trust and supported by Diabetes UK, has been created with the successful recruitment of over 10,000 consented patients with type 2 diabetes and 8000 matching controls people without diabetes. This resource is already available to researchers worldwide and is helping to define genetic factors related to diabetes including susceptibility, complications and response to treatment.


  • SDRNT1BIO - The Scottish Diabetes Research Network Type 1 Bioresource The SDRNT1BIO is a comprehensive collection of biosamples and electronic healthcare record data for over 6000 adults in Scotland with type 1 diabetes, recruited between 2010-2013. The bioresource was established to facilitate research into the genetic determinants and pathogenesis of type 1 diabetes, along with biomarkers of complications. Participants consented to allow access to biological samples and to have their e-health care data from SCI-Diabetes and national health data records linked to the SDRN1BIO database for future research. For further information, please see


NRS Diabetes
Diabetes Support Unit
Level 8
Ninewells Hospital
Dundee DD1 9SY


Tel. + 44 (0)1382 383241