Public Health Research

Public Health research plays an important role in aiding, preventing health hazards and ensures far more effective, less expensive, early possible response to avoid development of disease in areas like cardiology, Neurology, Oncology and other specialties. MHC has been able to explore this area and provide its contribution to public health and also contribute to the framing of government policies on public health.

Ongoing and Closed projects:

The aim of the collaboration is to develop world class research, addressing the major unmet clinical needs common to India and UK and providing a research base and legacy for future research. We currently have an ongoing project in the field of genetics i.e. Max Genetic study.

Through this collaboration, DDF has been able to successfully complete a study on genetics (Epi- Migrant study) been funded under FP7 programme by European Commission.

iHealth T2D

iHealth- T2D is one of the largest  T2DM Multicentre studies in the world and the first T2DM prevention study in India. It is a five-year cluster randomized clinical trial of face-to-face, intensive lifestyle modification to prevent T2D amongst 3,600 South Asians from 120 locations in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and UK. IHealth-T2D provides a large-scale resource of clinical data and biological samples, for evaluation of risk prediction models in South Asian populations.

Our objective of iHealth-T2D is development of strategies for health promotion that are effective, efficient and equitable, and that can be used in a sustainable and scalable way for community-wide action in a range of settings. The study focuses on South Asian men and women living in India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and United Kingdom. The study participants were from major cultural subgroups and from diverse social and economic backgrounds. Waist circumference (>100cm) and HbA1c (6.0-6.4%) were chosen to identify South Asians at risk of T2D.

Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR):

  • New projects additionally are also being funded by ICMR are entitled as “Chronic Kidney Disease And Associated Risk Factors Among Auto- Rickshaw Drivers from NCR- Emphasis on air pollution”  and “Stress and copying strategy among caregivers of patients  undergoing haemodialysis- A prospective Study”. Both the projects are to be conducted in Dept of Internal Medicine. 
  • Institute of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism has also received funding from ICMR for a project titled “Cluster-Randomized Controlled Trial for Primary Prevention of Gestational Diabetes Mellitus and associated complications by Lifestyle Modifications”. This project will be started in 2021 and it is a two-years grant.

National Institute of Health Research (NIHR)


NIHR Global Health Research Unit on Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease in South Asians (GHRU) (2017-2021)

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) and type-2 diabetes (T2D) are leading, closely interlinked global health challenges: 422M people live with T2D, while CVD caused 17.5M deaths in 2012 (31% of global mortality). T2D and CVD pose enormous economic burdens on individuals, families and healthcare systems, and contribute to poverty, inequality and social instability. The burden of T2D and CVD are especially high in South Asia, the most populous and densely populated region of the world (1.73 billion people in 2015, 25% of world population). India alone is home to ~74M people with T2D. Furthermore, the incidence of CVD is rising sharply across South Asian populations, in direct contrast to the falling CVD mortality rates observed in the US and most Western European countries.This ambitious project, led by Imperial College London represents a collaboration between academic and clinical experts in NCD prevention and control from leading institutions in Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and the UK. With initial 4 year funding from the UK National Institutes for Health Research, we will pursue a program of translational research in thataims to strengthen disease surveillance ~150,000 South Asians (~60,000 Indians), quantify relationships of clinical and laboratory measures with risk of T2D and CVD, build capacity of health systems (including frontline health workers) and engage key stakeholders, decision-makers and policy makers for an effective dissemination and implementation of the findings.

Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB)

We have collaborated with the Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB) to understand the biology of COVID-19 infection from multiple perspectives, inclusive of:

  • Genomic sequence based diversity of SARS-CoV-2.
  • SARS-CoV-2 genetic variants associated with symptoms diversity as well as symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals.
  • Host response especially immune system.
  • Co-morbidity factors

This has been a valuable public-private partnership which includes basic genomics and biological scientists from the IGIB and public health experts, microbiologists, and clinicians from Max Hospital. Their collaborative work on COVID-19 initiated in April 2020 wherein Max has been a provider of clinical data and blood samples of suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 patients, and IGIB has been involved in the genetic, bioinformatics and serological testing. Their joint preliminary work has resulted into scientific outputs, which includes a published paper and two manuscripts are due for submission this month. A five-month-long study jointly conducted by Max Super Specialty Hospital, Saket, and the CSIR- IGIB, has discovered that antibodies against the Covid-19 infection can persist in human body for more than 60days, providing immunity against the virus. The findings of the study, available in the MedRxiv journal, are in contrast to a recently published study that showed such antibodies as lasting for less than 50 days.

  • The seroprevalence and antibody stability study, titled “SARS-CoV-2 antibody seroprevalence and stability in a tertiary care hospital-setting” involved testing and follow-up sampling of ~800 people in a hospital setting from April to August 2020. The participants included healthcare workers and individuals who visited the hospital’s flu-clinic for COVID-19 testing, representing the general population during the pandemic.
  • In the genomics study 4580 samples of 144 patients with confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 has been analyzed so far. Each sample contained 57 unique parameters including the grouped co-morbid conditions, patient vitals, patient demographic information and lab test results. A comparison of these investigations has also been done with the Wuhan cohort. The unique SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences have been uploaded on the GISAID (Global initiative on sharing all influenza data), and the data with respect to the lineage/ clade to which this genomes belong to, is being analyzed. This will help map the genomic divergence and evolution rate of the virus in India.