5 July 2005
Researchers at the University of Edinburgh have announced the launch of a new two-year study that seeks to recruit 1000 adults from the North Isles of Orkney to look at risk factors for cardiovascular disease (see press release). The study, funded by the Chief Scientist Office of the Scottish Executive and supported by The Royal Society and the Medical Research Council Human Genetics Unit, will investigate the role of genes and the environment in the development of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. The islands' isolated population is particularly appropriate for the study, because they share a much greater degree of environmental factors such as diet and lifestyle than mainland populations. The population is also very stable, with some family trees traceable as far back as eight generations, so that shared genetic factors are likely to exert significant and detectable effects on disease risk.