• Research type

    Research Study

  • Full title

    Targeting beta-cell failure in lean patients with type 2 diabetes



  • Contact name

    Eylem Levelt

  • Contact email


  • Sponsor organisation

    University of Leeds

  • Clinicaltrials.gov Identifier


  • Duration of Study in the UK

    2 years, 10 months, 2 days

  • Research summary

    The majority of people with type 2 diabetes (T2D) are overweight, and while weight gain is a major contributor to diabetes, a minority of patients with T2D are not overweight or obese. The reasons why lean or normal body weight individuals develop T2D (lean-T2D) are not yet understood. T2D occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin, or becomes less sensitive to its effects. Insulin acts like a key to allow sugar into cells and if someone is overweight that key works less well. Recent research suggests that T2D in lean people should be considered a different disease from the diabetes associated with obesity and the main problem in lean-T2D patients may be a reduced capacity of insulin secretion. However, some researchers argue that many seemingly thin people carry more fat than muscle, making them trim on the outside, but fat on the inside, and they are in fact not truly lean. This implies that just like overweight diabetics, lean diabetics also have high resistance to insulin. The main aim of our research is to better understand the main driver of T2D in lean individuals, as this will determine how best to treat these individuals.

    There are many different types of drugs for treating T2D. Liraglutide improves insulin secretion capacity of the pancreas. Pioglitazone reduces resistance to insulin action. We will compare the actions of these diabetes drugs on the blood supply and the heart's energy levels in lean-T2D and obese-T2D patients. This will allow us to determine the ideal treatment strategies for improving cardiovascular health in lean-T2D patients, and better understand the role of impaired insulin secretory capacity, insulin resistance and excess fat deposition specifically in this group.

  • REC name

    West Midlands - Black Country Research Ethics Committee

  • REC reference


  • Date of REC Opinion

    17 Jan 2020

  • REC opinion

    Further Information Favourable Opinion