Modern lifestyle has dramatically changed the daily rhythms of life. Physical activity, diet and light exposure are no longer restricted to daytime hours, as technical and economical de-mands fuel the necessity to work outside usual working hours. Recent studies show that al-tered light exposure, shifted exercise patterns and untimely food intake following extended active periods into the night disturb the circadian clocks and severely disrupt endocrine and metabolic processes, contributing to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes/obesity. Especially shift workers constituting 20% of the European working population are affected by this prob-lem. Until now only few studies investigating circadian rhythm disturbances in the context of type 2 diabetes/obesity have been conducted in man. Within EuRhythDia a consortium of leading scientists supported by research-intensive SMEs aims to close this gap. The objective of the project is to achieve breakthroughs in the understanding of the causality between inner clock rhythm disturbances and the development of type 2 diabetes/obesity, and to verify whether re-setting the circadian clock through lifestyle interventions (exercise, diet, light exposure and melatonin intake) alters cardiometabolic risk to a clinically relevant degree. The project is based on shift workers as a model and combines genetic, epigenetic, proteomic, metabolomic, physiological, and clinical approaches. The consortium has direct access to well characterised human data incl. individuals predisposed to type 2 diabetes via LUPS co-hort. Additional small interventional and validation cohorts of shift workers and high risk juveniles will be recruited, and supportive animal studies will be conducted. Through the de-velopment of novel diagnostic assays enabling identification of patients at risk and elaboration of targeted prevention guidelines focusing on shift workers and juveniles, EuRhythDia will contribute to a positive impact on European citizens` health.
Fields of science
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Funding SchemeCP-FP - Small or medium-scale focused research project