The University of Manitoba Department of Internal Medicine’s Section of Hepatology is undertaking a five-year study to identify why Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most prevalent disease in Canada, with the Canadian Liver Foundation estimates 25% of the adult population is affected by the disease. These are just staging numbers and the investigators are on a mission to understand why.
Taking place at two sites including 1) Winkler’s C.W. Wiebe Medical Centre and 2) First Nation’s populations of Island Lake. Dr. Julia Uhanova, the study’s principal investigator, reports the two site regions to have different people, demographics and risk factors that perhaps could be a cause. Dr. Uhanova reports “The rise of the disease coincides with the prevalence of obesity and the instances of diabetes. We want to see form the community level, how many people would really have the disease.
The five-year study will include 1,000 adults age 18 and over from the Winkler area to participate in the study-they currently have around 670.
The study procedure will be simple—a basic questionnaire and an ultrasound scan of the participant’s liver. If NAFLD is then identified, the investigators will utilize a FibroScan of the patient to determine the severity of the fibrosis and that’s where the University of Manitoba’s Dr. Gerry Minuk comes in to review the results with the patient and potentially advise if there are recommended immediate actions.
The study is being paid for by the Canadian Institute of Health Research.
Call to Action: If you live in this region of Canada and interested in participating there are a few ways to inquire including 1) Call the C.W. Wiebe Medical Centre or visit their website 2) Walk-in to the clinic when the team returns every six months 3) visit the recruitment booths at many events throughout the community. TrialSite News also offers links to both Dr. Julia Uhanova and Dr. Gerry Minuk as well.
Note that for biopharma sponsors this group up in Manitoba represents a good possible partnership for future NASH/NAFLD clinical research.