About the Unit

Diabetes and related metabolic conditions are a leading cause of ill-health and premature mortality exerting huge financial pressures on the health services.


The Diabetes Research Unit, Cymru (DRU Cymru) is active in areas of basic, clinical, epidemiological, social care and health services research across Wales.


  • The prevalence of diabetes is now over 7% of the population and is set to rise dramatically over coming years.
  • Diabetes is thought to account for more than 10% of NHS spend.
  • Over 20% of hospital in-patients in Wales have diabetes.
  • Over half of all adults in Wales are overweight or obese.
  • The prevalence of childhood obesity (25%) is higher in Wales than in both England and Scotland (2014). 
  • Type 1 diabetes accounts for around 10% of all patients with diabetes and carries a particularly high burden for patients and families, with over 1000 children in Wales affected.  


The Unit’s overarching aim is to address these important health-care needs by undertaking and supporting a comprehensive, integrated translational research programme, designed to advance development and implementation of therapeutic strategies for prevention and treatment of diabetes.


The core infrastructure links basic scientists, clinicians, patients and the third sector, to facilitate cross-disciplinary and cross-professional collaboration, together with wider collaborations across the Health and Care Research Wales Infrastructure.

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