EDGI UK first anniversary

EDGI home page 2

Eating Disorders Genetics Initiative in the UK (EDGI UK) was launched a year ago, recruiting members of the public who have experienced any eating disorder. The study is run by the NIHR BioResource Centre Maudsley, part of King’s College London, and Beat, the UK’s eating disorder charity.

The EDGI UK study is run through the Mental Health BioResource, which is part of the NIHR BioResource, and aims at recruiting 10,000 individuals with an eating disorder.

The EDGI UK team have been delighted to find themselves busy with the number of participants willing to take part.  This is despite England going into the first lockdown shortly after the study was launched. To date, over 10,000 have registered their interest in the study and over 3,600 participants have already signed up and completed the online questionnaire.

The EDGI UK team say thank you:

“We are thrilled to see the enthusiasm to take part, even during these tough times. We’ve loved being tagged in photos on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook on your sign up and saliva kit donations, keep them coming!

‘Thank you to all our participants who have taken part in EDGI UK, not only in England, but worldwide! It is through the selfless contribution of time and effort that research and progress can be made and it’s all due to the contribution of every single person who has joined this study.”

Professor Gerome Breen, Chief Investigator of EDGI UK said “Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any other mental health disorder. In the past having an eating disorder was stigmatised by society and subsequently not prioritised by research.”

Beat, the UK’s leading eating disorder charity dedicated to those experiencing eating disorders, is a partner of EDGI UK. The Beat website has an array of resources and information.

EDGI UK is designed to make things as easy as possible, allowing any interested member of the public to take part from the comfort of their homes. Participants can sign up on the study website https://edgiuk.org.  There is an initial 30 minute questionnaire to be completed online, followed by the donation of a saliva sample for research. A saliva kit is sent to participants for return via Royal Mail.  From the information gathered from the online questionnaire and the saliva sample, the EDGI UK research team will look at the genetic aspect of eating disorders.

EDGI UK also helps to create a re-contactable database within the NIHR BioResource which invites participants to take part in further research. By reaching out to participants who have already taken part in studies such as EDGI UK, members of the public help speed research which includes, and goes beyond, eating disorders or Mental Health.

EDG UK is proud to be part of an international, collaborative effort. Throughout this past year, EDGI UK Australia, New Zealand and USA have also launched with more countries on the horizon. Data from the various countries will be combined to provide a powerful dataset for analysis. You can read more about the international sites here. This makes EDGI the largest-ever genetic research study of eating disorders internationally. Thank you to those who have taken part so far for helping to establish this international community.