Frequently Asked Questions

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The study

Is participation mandatory?

No, participation in this study is 100 % voluntary and participants can withdraw at any given time throughout the study without giving any reasons

Where are the assessment centers located?

Currently, the study clinics are located in Abu Dhabi (Abu Dhabi Blood Bank, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, Healthpoint) and Al Ain (UAE University).

Who are the sponsors and partners of the study?

Participation

How can I participate in the study?

To participate in the study, you can book an appointment online by clicking here, or you can visit one of our clinics in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain, or call our toll number on 8002327.

Why is my written consent needed?

Your participation in the study is entirely voluntary. By signing the consent form, you confirm your willingness to take part in the study, be contacted for follow ups, and provide the necessary information.

How can I prepare for my assessment visit?

In preparation for your assessment visit, please think about all medications, vitamins or supplements you may be taking on a regular basis, and if applicable, any surgery you may have had at any time in the past; you may want to note these down as a reminder. Medical conditions that seem to run in your family, your birth weight, your place of birth, and whether or not you were breastfed, would also be useful information to know. If possible, fast for 8 hours prior to your assessment visit (especially if you have a morning appointment). Water is allowed during the 8 hour fast period. Please inform the UAE Healthy Future Study staff if you were able to complete the fast.

Is the study open to non-Emirati's?

In studies such as this, it takes many years of follow up to generate results. Such follow-ups require a permanent residence in the UAE which is not applicable to expats.

What does participation consist of?

The participation consists of three steps including filling out a questionnaire, taking your measurements, and collecting biological samples of blood, urine, and mouthwash.

Questionnaire

What is the questionnaire on?

We ask for general information about your personal health and medical history,  family history, and your psychological state. The survey asks about your education, employment, and your home and living arrangements. There is also a section about smoking and the use of tobacco as well as your driving behavior.

How long does it take to finish the questionnaire?

The survey takes 20-40 minutes to finish

Who will be able to access my data?

All your personal information will be separated from the survey and data will be de-identified immediately. Researchers can only access the de-identified data so there is no way you can be identified from your data. All participants will have a unique ID linked to their samples and survey and researchers will deal with the unique ID only without names or other identifying information.

Samples

What are the samples that should be provided?

Each participant will be asked to provide a small blood sample, urine, and mouth-wash.

How much of each sample am I required to provide?

You are required to provide a 15ml of blood (which is equivalent to two tablespoons), 15ml of urine and a small tube of mouth-wash sample.

What are the tests that will be done on my samples?

We will conduct routine tests including glucose, lipids and tests of your kidney and liver function. We will also do some advanced tests including genetic sequencing to help understand fully the causes of the high rates of diseases such as diabetes.

Where are you going to keep my samples?

All samples will be transferred to NYU Abu Dhabi laboratories, where they will be processed, analyzed, and kept at -80°C.

Would my samples be sent abroad?

Currently no samples are being sent abroad but if a particular technology is not available here in the UAE, this may be done in the future with the permission of the Department of Health.

Results

How am I going to benefit from participating in this study?

Participating in this study may not benefit participants directly, but it will help us to understand the important causes of these common diseases in Emirati’s. The results will help the government set up the best practices and interventions to prevent these diseases in the future.

Am I going to get my test results?

The tests done in the lab are on de-identified samples and are purely for research purposes and not for clinical diagnosis, and so in general we do not give back test results. However, if we discover something that might be very important for your health or medical care right now (e.g high glucose) we will contact you to see if you want to learn more.

Why do I need a follow up appointment?

Follow up appointments are essential to help us understand the causes of these common diseases and after the initial clinic visit, participants will be re-contacted via phone and email details provided to visit the clinic and do the same tests again after five years. If your contact details change, please notify the study coordinating center by calling 8002327.

How often will I be contacted?

We will only contact you when it is necessary. For example, if some of your data is missing, we will contact you to complete missing areas and finish all steps.  We will do follow up calls every two years to make sure all contact numbers are still working. After five years of the first visit, the participants will be asked to have another visit to participating hospitals or clinics.

We can’t do this without you

Be a part of this ambitious study

Visit a clinic to complete a questionnaire, give your physical measurements and provide some samples. It takes less than an hour, and will make a big difference.