Four thousand Manresans will be part of a 20-year study to better understand the causes of the most common diseases
Manresa is one of the cities chosen to participate in a large health research project that aims to better understand the causes of the main diseases that affect the population, prevent them and treat them with what is known as medicine on demand. In other words, adapted to each person. This project has impressive dimensions: the study will last for two decades, the health and lifestyle of 200,000 people from all over the state will be monitored, 24,000 of which from Catalonia. Of these, four thousand from Manresa. The budget is 30 million euros.
The IMPaCT project
The project is called IMPaCT and it is promoted by the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities through the Carlos III Health Institute. In Catalonia it is coordinated by the Jordi Gol Primary Health Care Research Institute, in collaboration with the Catalan Health Service (CatSalut) and the Catalan Health Institute (ICS).
The project was launched this week in Camp de Tarragona, in nine municipalities in the Baix Francolí area and in two neighborhoods in the city of Tarragona itself. Soon, it will be deployed in the towns of l’Aldea, Sant Fost de Campsentelles, Manresa, Lleida and l’Hospitalet de Llobregat. The forecast is that in Manresa the study will begin in one or two years.
Territory and balance
“A selection of six points throughout Catalonia has been made to seek a balance between urban and rural areas and that there is a representativeness of the population from a socio-demographic point of view”, the spokesperson of the Institute explained to this medium Jordi Gol, Jordi Morató. Operational criteria have also been taken into account. Throughout the state it will be developed in about fifty health areas. Pilot tests have already been carried out in Mallorca and Madrid.
The study sample includes people between the ages of 16 and 79. Candidates to participate in the study will receive a call from their Primary Care Center (CAP) inviting them to participate in the research project. From there they would be tracked and information about their lifestyle would be collected through questionnaires, physical examinations and physiological tests and biomarker analysis, which will be carried out at the CAP itself.
The importance of citizen collaboration
“Citizens’ collaboration in this project is essential”, said the director of the Jordi Gol institute and principal researcher of the study in Catalonia, Josep Basora. That’s why one of the slogans of the campaign is “If we call you, come”. In Tarragona, where it started this week, the response has been very positive, Morató points out. “Practically, no one has said no”, when it comes to participating in research.
According to the researcher at the Jordi Gol Institute and coordinator of the study in Catalonia, Marina Esquerrà, “we want to know what role habits, genetic susceptibility and the specific characteristics of the Spanish population and our environment play in the origin of main health problems and in the prediction of diseases”.
In this way, having a dynamic record of individual and population data, clinical, genetic, epidemiological and lifestyle data, will make it possible to build predictive models of diseases, identify health inequalities, monitor key indicators and evaluate the impact of health policies.
Personalized treatments based on our population
Over the course of the 20 years that the study will last, results will be obtained that will allow the development of personalized treatments that are more targeted to the characteristics of our population. Nowadays, solutions are proposed that are based on studies that have been carried out in other countries”, point out the Jordi Gol Institute.
The Jordi Gol Institute, reference in health in the primary field
The Jordi Gol Institute is the center of reference for the study and promotion of health at the primary level in Catalonia. It has nearly 1,400 researchers, and works to promote and develop innovation, training and clinical, epidemiological and health services research in the field of Primary Care, in order to improve the health system and the health of people It has units distributed throughout Catalonia with research groups and projects in each territory.