Current Projects

The Non-Communicable Diseases Research Unit (NCDRU) was formed in 2013 during the revitalization of the South African Medical Research Council. The unit was established by merging three existing units which were previously conducting research in different areas of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), and by attracting additional staff from other units affected by the revitalization process. The three units merged to form the NCDRU were: (1) The Chronic Diseases of Lifestyle Research Unit (CDL), (2) The Diabetes Discovery Platform (DDP), (3) The National Collaborative Research Programme on Cardiovascular and Metabolic Diseases (NCRP CV&MD)

Thematic Area 1: Cardiovascular and Metabolic Diseases

Cardiometabolic Diseases Risk Evaluation and Reduction in African People Living with HIV Infection (CaDERAL)

Project details
Principal investigator: Prof André P. Kengne
PACT ID Nr: PACTR201811878799717
Grant Agreement Nr: TMA2017GSF-1962-CaDERAL-TMA201GSF

Background: Care of people with HIV across sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is provided through dedicated parallel health streams, primarily designed to address HIV and related infectious co-morbidities. Consequently, the opportunity of addressing co-morbid non-communicable disease (NCD) is not fully realized in this population in regular contacts with the health system. Integration of HIV and NCD care has been suggested to improve the co-detection and co-management of co-morbid HIV and NCDs. Key to the success of this integration is a better understanding of the burden and drivers of NCDs in people with HIV, and appropriate strategies for promoting their care without compromising HIV specific care.  

Project description: The Cardiometabolic Diseases Risk Evaluation and Reduction in African People Living with HIV Infection (CaDERAL) aims to enhance the understanding of common cardiovascular and metabolic diseases (CMDs), and improve their co-detection and co-management in African people living with HIV infection, through a program of research and capacity development based on a network of institutions led by the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC), and comprising the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) and the Clinical Research Education, Networking and Consultancy (CRENC, Cameroon). Clicking on the project will provide more detail on the projects being carried out in the three countries under the leadership of Prof Kengne.

  • Project 1: Characterise the cardiometabolic profile of adult HIV-infected individuals at their baseline enrolment in Cameroon, using data from the Cameroon arm of the ongoing International Epidemiologic Databases to Evaluate AIDS (IeDEA).
  • Project 2: Assess the incidence and remission of dyslipidemia and impaired kidney function in people with HIV on ART in Nigeria, using data from the NIMR HIV cohort.
  • Project 3: Conduct a clinical trial to test the effectiveness of sending weekly SMS-text message in improving health outcomes and supporting medication adherence in South African adults with co-morbid HIV and hypertension. This will be augmented with process evaluation and cost-effectiveness analysis.

Capacity Development: The three research projects support the training of a PhD student in each of the three countries and are reinforcing the research capacities of junior and senior researchers where appropriate. 

Publications

  1. Nguyen KA, Peer N, Kengne AP. Associations of gamma-glutamyl transferase with cardio-metabolic diseases in people living with HIV infection in South Africa. PLoS One. 2021 Feb 5;16(2):e0246131. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0246131
  2. Peer N, de Villiers A, Jonathan D, Kalombo C, Kengne AP. Care and management of a double burden of chronic diseases: Experiences of patients and perceptions of their healthcare providers. PLoS ONE. 2020 Jul 16;15: e0235710. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0235710

Contact person: Prof André P. Kengne (andre.kengne@mrc.ac.za)

Funding: This project is part of the EDCTP2 programme supported by the European Union

The South African Diabetes Prevention Programme (SA-DPP)

PI: Prof André P. Kengne

Short summary: The overall purpose of this project to develop and evaluate a culturally relevant model of diabetes prevention programme for South Africa, using evidence from successful diabetes prevention effectiveness and implementation programmes. Our expectations are to arrive at a model that will inform lifestyle interventions to prevent diabetes and other lifestyles related conditions at primary health care level in South Africa and serves as a prototype for adaptation in other countries in the region that are confronted to similar challenges like South Africa.

Collaborators: Prof Brian Oldenburg (University of Melbourne, Australia), Tandi Matsha (Cape Peninsula University of Technology, South Africa), Prof Rajiv Erasmus (University of Stellenbosch, South Africa), Prof Naomi Levitt (University of Cape Town, South Africa), Prof Thandi Puoane (University of Western Cape, South Africa), Prof Julia Goedecke (South African Medical Research Council, South Africa), Dr Nasheeta Peer (South African Medical Research Council, South Africa), Prof Pamela Naidoo (Human Sciences Research Council, South Africa), Esme Jordaan (South African Medical Research Council, South Africa), Prof Sanni Yaya (University of Ottawa, Canada)

SAMRC Team Members: Dr Jillian Hill, Sr Deborah Jonathan, Dr Cindy George, Dr Liske Kotze, Dr Paul van Jaarsveld, Prof Mieke Faber

Students: Samukelisiwe Madlala (PhD ongoing, UWC), Tatum Lopes (PhD ongoing, US), Chad Africa (MPH ongoing, UCT), Dezlynn Jansen (MSc ongoing, CPUT), Anne-Marie Aurousseau (MSc 2020, University of Bordeaux), Camille Lavigne-Delville (MSc 2020, University of Bordeaux)

Funding: SAMRC Baseline Funding

Publications:

  1. Hill J, Peer N, Oldenburg B, Kengne AP. Roles, responsibilities, and characteristics of lay community health workers involved in diabetes prevention programmes: A systematic review. PloS One. 2017 Dec 7;12(12):e0189069. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0189069
  2. Hill J, Delville CL, Auorousseau AM, Jonathan D, Peer N, Oldenburg B, Kengne AP. Development of a tool to increase physical activity among people at risk for diabetes in low-resourced communities in Cape Town. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020 Jan 30;17(3):865. DOI: 10.3390/ijerph17030865
  3. Hill J, Peer N, Jonathan D, Mayige M, Sobngwi E, Kengne AP. Findings from community-based screenings for type 2 diabetes mellitus in at risk communities in Cape Town, South Africa: a pilot study. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020 Apr 21;17(8):2876. DOI: 10.3390/ijerph17082876

Contact persons: Prof André P. Kengne (André.kengne@mrc.ac.za) and Dr Jillian Hill (jillian.hill@mrc.ac.za)

The Eastern Cape Diabetes Prevention Programme (EC-DPP)

PIs: Dr Jillian Hill and Dr Yandi Yako (Walter Sisulu University)

Short summary: The purpose of this project is to implement and evaluate the suitability, applicability and appropriateness of the SA-DPP developed and tailored in urban populations in the Western Cape Province, in peri-urban populations in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa.

Collaborators: Prof André P Kengne (South African Medical Research Council, South Africa), Prof Constance Rusike (Walter Sisulu University, South Africa), Dr Simthandile Toni (Mthatha General Hospital, South Africa), Dr Hannibal Musarurwa (Walter Sisulu University, South Africa)

Funding: Strategic Health Innovation Partnerships: Precision Medicine, Grants Innovation and Product Development, South African Medical Research Council

Contact person: Dr Jillian Hill (jillian.hill@mrc.ac.za)

Cardiometabolic Outcomes, Mechanisms and Approach to Prevention of Dolutegravir Associated Weight Gain in South Africa (DGT Study)

PIs: Prof André P. Kengne and Prof Jean Nachega (Pittsburgh University, United States; University of Stellenbosch, South Africa)

Short summary: Studies investigating weight gain associated with switching from an efavirenz- to a DTG-containing anti-retroviral (ART) regimen are lacking and thus critically needed to provide important and novel insights. Thus, this 12-month prospective cohort study, including African men and women living with HIV (PLWH), aims to evaluate weight change in those who switch to DTG-based ART and those remaining on non-DTG-based ART in Cape Town, South Africa.

Co-I’s:

Dr Jillian Hill (South African Medical Research Council, South Africa); Prof Julia Goedecke (South African Medical Research Council, South Africa); Dr Eric Decloedt (Stellenbosch University, South Africa); Dr Marije Van Schalkwyk (Stellenbosch University, South Africa)

Consultants: Dr Sudipa Sarkar (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, United States); Prof Gregory D. Kirk (Johns Hopkins University, United States); Prof Todd T. Brown (Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, United States); Prof John W. Mellors (University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, United States); Dr Donald H. Skinner (Human Sciences Research Council, South Africa); Dr Rhoderick N. Machekano (Stellenbosch University, South Africa)

Funding: National Institute of Health (NIH)/Forgarty

Contact person: Prof André P. Kengne (andre.kengne@mrc.ac.za)

Cape Town Vascular and Metabolic Health (VMH) Study

PIs: Prof André P. Kengne, Prof Tandi Matsh

Short summary: The overall purpose of this programme of research is to establish a population-based cohort, backed up by adequate biorepository, in order to quantify and track the burden of cardio-metabolic diseases in mixed-ancestry South Africans in Cape Town, with a particular focus on the role of emerging risk factors for cardiometabolic diseases.

SAMRC Team Members: Dr Cindy George

Funding: South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) with funds from National Treasury under its Economic Competitiveness and Support Package and strategic funds from the SAMRC received from the South African National Department of Health. 

Contact person: Prof André P. Kengne (andre.kengne@mrc.ac.za)

Cardiovascular Risk in Black South Africans (CRIBSA) Study

PI: Dr Nasheeta Peer

Co-I: Prof André P Kengne

Short summary: This study, which previously examined the prevalence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors in the black population of Cape Town, now aims to determine the biochemical and genetic markers, genes and level of renal impairment associated with these CVD risk factors.

Collaboration: University of Cape Town, University of Witwatersrand, Stellenbosch University, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, South Africa

Funding: South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC): SAMRC Intramural Research Fund: SAMRC-RFA-IRF-02-2016

Publications:

Current study:

  1. Peer N, George J, Lombard C, Steyn K, Levitt N, Kengne AP. Prevalence, concordance and associations of chronic kidney disease by five estimators in South Africa. BMC Nephrology. 2020 Aug 13;21(1):372. DOI: 10.1186/s12882-020-02018-x

Main study:

  1. Peer N, Lombard C, Steyn K, Levitt N. A high burden of adverse life events and poor coping mechanisms experienced by urban-dwelling black South Africans. PLoS ONE. 2020 Sep 10;15(9):e0238320. DOI: 10.1371/journal. pone.023832
  2. Peer N, Lombard C, Steyn K, Levitt N. Elevated resting heart rate is associated with several cardiovascular disease risk factors in urban-dwelling black South Africans. Scientific Reports. 2020 Mar 12;10(1):4605.DOI: 10.1038/s41598-020-61502-4
  3. Peer N, Lombard C, Steyn K, Levitt N. Waist-to-height ratio is a useful indicator of cardio-metabolic risk in South Africa. Family Practice. 2020 Feb;37(1):36-42. Epub 2019 Aug 29. DOI: 10.1093/fampra/cmz044
  4. Goedecke JH, George C, Veras K, Peer N, Lombard C, Victor H, Steyn K, Levitt NS. Sex differences in insulin sensitivity and insulin response with increasing age in black South African men and women. Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice. 2016 Dec;122:207-214. Epub 2016 Nov 17. DOI: 10.1016/j.diabres.2016.11.005
  5. Steyn NP, Jaffer N, Nel J, Levitt N, Steyn K, Lombard C, Peer N. Dietary Intake of the Urban Black Population of Cape Town: The Cardiovascular Risk in Black South Africans (CRIBSA) Study. Nutrients. 2016 May 13;8(5). pii: E285. DOI: 10.3390/nu8050285
  6. Peer N, Lombard C, Steyn K, Levitt N. Differential associations of cardiovascular disease risk factors with relative wealth in urban-dwelling South Africans. Journal of Public Health (Oxf). 2016;38(1):175-82. Epub 2015 Oct 31. DOI: 10.1093/pubmed/fdv152
  7. Peer N, Steyn K, Levitt N. Differential obesity indices identify the metabolic syndrome in Black men and women in Cape Town: the CRIBSA study. Journal of Public Health (Oxf). 2016;38(1):175-82. Epub 2015 Jan 24.
  8. Peer N, Lombard C, Steyn K, Levitt N. High prevalence of metabolic syndrome in the Black population of Cape Town: the Cardiovascular Risk in Black South Africans (CRIBSA) study. European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. 2015;22(8):1036-42. Epub 2014 Sep 10. DOI: 10.1177/2047487314549744
  9. Peer N, Lombard C, Steyn K, Gaziano T, Levitt N. Comparability of total cardiovascular disease risk estimates using laboratory and non-laboratory-based assessments in urban-dwelling South Africans: the CRIBSA study. South African Medical Journal. 2014 Aug 13; 104(10):691-6. DOI: 10.7196/samj.8125.
  10. Peer N, Lombard C, Steyn K, Gwebushe N, Levitt N. Differing Patterns of Overweight and Obesity among Black Men and Women in Cape Town: The CRIBSA Study. PloS One. 2014 Sep 15;9(9):e107471. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0107471.
  11. Peer N, Lombard C, Steyn K, Levitt N. Differential Patterns of Tobacco Use in Black Men and Women in Cape Town: The Cardiovascular Risk in Black South Africans Study. Nicotine & Tobacco Research. 2014 Apr 1;16(8):1104-11DOI: 10.1093/ntr/ntu042.
  12. Peer N, Lombard C, Steyn K, Levitt N. Rising alcohol consumption and a high prevalence of problem drinking in black men and women in Cape Town: the CRIBSA study. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. 2014 May 1;68(5):446-52. Epub 2014 Jan 8.DOI: 10.1136/jech-2013-202985
  13. Peer N, Steyn K, Lombard C, Gwebushe N, Levitt N. A High Burden of Hypertension in the Urban Black Population of Cape Town: The Cardiovascular Risk in Black South Africans (CRIBSA) Study. PloS One. 2013 Nov 8; 8(11):e78567.DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0078567
  14. N, Steyn K, Lombard C, Gaziano T, Levitt N. Alarming rise in prevalence of atherogenic dyslipidaemia in the black population of Cape Town: the Cardiovascular Risk in Black South Africans (CRIBSA) study. European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. 2014 Dec;21(12):1549-56. Epub 2013 Jul 23. DOI: 10.1177/2047487313497865
  15. Peer N, Steyn K, Lombard C, Lambert EV, Vythilingum B, and Levitt NS. Rising Diabetes Prevalence among Urban-dwelling Black South Africans. PLoS One. 2012 Sep 4; 7(9): e43336.DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0043336.

Contact person: Dr Nasheeta Peer (Nasheeta.peer@mrc.ac.za)  

Comorbidities of childhood obesity at tertiary hospitals in Kwazulu-Natal, South-Africa: 1995 TO 2016

PI: Dr Nasheeta Peer

Co-I: Prof André P Kengne

Short summary: 1) To determine the number of obese children <12 years old who were assessed between January 1995 and December 2016 at King Edward Hospital and Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital in KwaZulu-Natal, and describe their obesity-related comorbidities, and 2) To determine any changes in body mass index and comorbidities at 1, 2 and 5 years post-initial presentation.

Collaboration: Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital

Contact person: Dr Nasheeta Peer (Nasheeta.peer@mrc.ac.za)

Thematic area 2: Kidney Diseases research

The Chronic Kidney Disease in Africa Consortium: CKD-Africa Collaboration

PI: Dr Cindy George

Co-Is: Prof André P. Kengne (South African Medical Research Council, South Africa), Prof Ikechi Okpechi (University of Alberta, Canada), Prof Mark Woodward (Imperial College, United Kingdom)

Short summary: Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a global public health problem, affecting individuals from low- income and- middle- income countries (LMICs) disproportionately, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. Despite the growing evidence pointing to an increasing prevalence of CKD across Africa, there has not been an Africa-wide concerted effort to provide reliable estimates that could adequately inform health services planning and policy development to address the consequences of CKD. Therefore, we established the CKD in Africa (CKD- Africa) Collaboration. The CKD-Africa Collaboration is an African network of CKD studies that pools individual participant data to: (1) determine the burden of CKD in Africa more accurately, (2) create resources that would allow the burden of CKD to be easily tracked and (3) enable CKD projections to be made in the context of Africa. To date, the network has curated data from 39 studies conducted in 12 African countries, totalling 35 747 participants, of which most are from sub-Saharan Africa. We are, however, continuously seeking further collaborations with other groups who have suitable data to grow the network.

Collaboration: Africa, Europe, and USA

Students: Suzaan Stoker (MSc 2020, University of Stellenbosch), Nombulelo Gidigidi (PhD ongoing, University of Stellenbosch)

Funding: Establishment of the consortium: National Research Foundation (NRF) Thuthuka instrument

Media/News: https://www.samrc.ac.za/news/samrc-led-consortium-tackle-chronic-kidney-disease-africa

Contact person: Dr Cindy George (cindy.george@mrc.ac.za)

Thematic area 3: Pathophysiology of type 2 diabetes in Africa

Mechanisms underlying insulin resistance in obese black SA women: Lessons from an exercise intervention

PI: Prof Julia Goedecke

Short summary: This study measures changes in insulin sensitivity and secretion in response to a 12-week exercise intervention in obese black SA women. Determinants of change include ectopic fat deposition; skeletal muscle and adipose tissue mitochondrial function, gene and protein expression; metabolomics and lipidomics; substrate metabolism, dietary intake, fitness and habitual physical activity.

Collaborators: Dr Amy Mendham and Prof Lisa Micklesfield (University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa), Dr Elin Chorell, Prof Tommy Olsson, and Dr Jon Hauksson (Umeå University, Sweden), Dr Mamadou Kaba and Prof Sandrine Lecour (University of Cape Town, South Africa)

SAMRC Team Members: Dr Paul van Jaarsveld, Dr Anniza de Villiers, Dr Cindy George

Students: Louise Clamp (PhD 2019, UCT), Pamela Nono Nankam (PhD 2020, UCT), Dr Melony Fortuin-de Smidt (PhD 2020, UCT), Lindokuhle Phiri (PhD ongoing, UCT), Nicholas Woudberg (PhD 2019, UCT)

Funding: National Research Foundation Competitive Programme for Rated Researchers

Publications:

  1. Mendham AE, Goedecke JH, Zeng Y, Larsen S, George C, Hauksson J, Fortuin-de Smidt MC, Chibalin AV, Olsson T, Chorell E. Exercise training improves mitochondrial respiration and is associated with an altered intramuscular phospholipid signature in women with obesity. Diabetologia. 2021 Mar 26. DOI: 10.1007/s00125-021-05430-6
  2. Mendham AE, Goedecke JH, Fortuin-de Smidt MC, Phiri L, Clamp L, Swart J, Lipinska G, Rae DE. Improved sleep quality and depressive symptoms with exercise training in obese women from a low socioeconomic community: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of Physical Activity and Health. 2021 Apr;18(4):440-9. Epub 2021 Mar 13. DOI: 10.1123/jpah.2020-0648
  3. Nankam PA, Blüher M, Kehr S, Klöting N, Krohn K, Adams K, Stadler PF, Mendham AE, Goedecke JH. Distinct abdominal and gluteal adipose tissue transcriptome signatures are altered by exercise training in African women with obesity. Scientific Reports. 2020 Jun 24; 10:10240.DOI: 10.1038/s41598-020-66868-z
  4. Fortuin-de Smidt MC, Mendham AE, Hauksson J, Hakim O, Stefanovski D, Clamp L, Phiri L, Swart J, Goff LM, Micklesfield LK, Kahn SE, Olsson T, Goedecke JH. Effect of exercise training on insulin sensitivity, hyperinsulinemia and ectopic fat in black South African women: a randomized controlled trial. European Journal of Endocrinology. 2020 Jul;183(1):51-61. DOI: 10.1530/EJE-19-0957
  5. Nankam PAN, van Jaarsveld PJ, Chorell E, Fortuin-de Smidt MC, Adams K, Blüher M, Olsson T, Mendham AE, Goedecke JH. Circulating and adipose tissue fatty acid composition in black South African women with obesity: a cross-sectional study. Nutrients. 2020 May 31;12(6): 1619.DOI: 10.3390/nu12061619
  6. Nono Nankam PA, Mendham AE, van Jaarsveld PJ, Adams K, Fortuin-de Smidt MC, Clamp L, Blüher M, Goedecke JH. Exercise training alters red blood cell fatty acid desaturase indices and adipose tissue fatty acid profile in African women with obesity. Obesity. 2020 Aug 01;28(8):1456-66. Epub 2020 Jul 06. DOI: 10.1002/oby.22862
  7. Mendham AE, Larsen S, George C, Adams K, Hauksson J, Olsson T, Fortuin-de Smidt MC, Nono Nankam PA, Hakim O, Goff LM, Pheiffer C, Goedecke JH. Exercise Training Results in Depot-Specific Adaptations to Adipose Tissue Mitochondrial Function. Scientific Reports. 2020 Mar 02;10:3785. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-020-60286-x
  8. Nono Nankam PA, Mendham AE, De Smidt MF, Keswell D, Olsson T, Blüher M, Goedecke JH. Changes in systemic and subcutaneous adipose tissue inflammation and oxidative stress in response to exercise training in obese black African women. Journal of Physiology. 2020 Feb 01;598(3):503-15. Epub 2019 Dec 24. DOI: 10.1113/JP278669
  9. Clamp LD, Mendham AE, Kroff J, Goedecke JH. Higher baseline fat oxidation promotes gynoid fat mobilization in response to a 12-week exercise intervention in sedentary, obese black South African women. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, And Metabolism. 2020;45(3):327-35. Epub 2019 Aug 26. DOI: 10.1139/apnm-2019-0460
  10. Woudberg NJ, Mendham AE, Katz AA, Goedecke JH, Lecour S. Exercise intervention alters hdl subclass distribution and function in obese women. Lipids in Health and Disease. 2018 Oct 10; 17:12. DOI: 10.1186/s12944-018-0879-1
  11. Goedecke JH, Mendham AE, Clamp L, Nankam PAN, Fortuin-de Smidt MC, Phiri L, Micklesfield LK, Keswel D, Woudberg NJ, Lecour S, Alhamud A, Kaba M, Lutomia FM, van Jaarsveld PJ, de Villiers A, Kahn SE, Chorell E, Hauksson J, Olsson T. An exercise intervention to unravel the mechanisms underlying insulin resistance in a cohort of black south african women: protocol for a randomized controlled trial and baseline characteristics of participants. JMIR Research Protocols. 2018 Apr 18;7(4): e75. DOI: 10.2196/resprot.9098

Contact person: Prof Julia Goedecke (Julia.goedecke@mrc.ac.za)

Non-Communicable disease risk in black South Africans: dissecting the role of glucocorticoids

PI: Prof Julia Goedecke

Short summary: This study aims to gain genetic insight into the variation in the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis in a black population and to understand the physiological consequences of this variation and associations with non-communicable disease (NCD) risk.

Collaborators: Prof B Walker (University of Edinburgh, Scotland)

Students: Siphiwe Dlamini (PhD 2021, WITS)

Funding: Academy of Medical Sciences, Newton Advanced Training Fellowship

Contact person: Prof Julia Goedecke (Julia.goedecke@mrc.ac.za)

Identification of metabolic pathways that predict type 2 diabetes in black South African women

PI: Prof Julia Goedecke

Short summary: This study aims to identify metabolites and/or metabolic pathways that predict progression to impaired glucose tolerance and type 2 diabetes in black South African women, and to determine whether these metabolites/metabolic pathways are modified by lifestyle factors, including diet, physical activity and socioeconomic status.

Collaborators: Prof Tommy Olsson and Dr Elin Chorell (Umea University, Sweden), Prof Lisa Micklesfield (University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa)

SAMRC Team Members: Dr Paul van Jaarsveld, Prof André P. Kengne

Students: Asanda Mtintsilana (PhD 2021, WITS)

Funding: Swedish Development Grant

Publications:

  1. Mtintsilana A, Micklesfield LK, Chorell E, Olsson T, Shivappa N, Hebert JR, Kengne AP, Goedecke JH. Adiposity mediates the association between the dietary inflammatory index and markers of type 2 diabetes risk in middle-aged black South African Women. Nutrients. 2019 May 31;11(6):E1246. DOI: 10.3390/nu11061246
  2. Zeng Y, , Goedecke JH, Olsson T, Chorell E. Alterations in the metabolism of phospholipids, bile acids and branched-chain amino acids predicts development of type 2 diabetes in black South African women: a prospective cohort study. Metabolism. 2019 Jun;95:57-64. Epub 2019 Apr 4. DOI: 10.1016/j.metabol.2019.04.001
  3. Mtintsilana A, Micklesfield LK, Chorell E, Olsson T, Goedecke JH. Fat redistribution and accumulation of visceral adipose tissue predicts type 2 diabetes risk in middle-aged black South African women: a 13-year longitudinal study. Nutrition & Diabetes. 2019 Mar;9(1):12. DOI: 10.1038/s41387-019-0079-8

Contact person: Prof Julia Goedecke (Julia.goedecke@mrc.ac.za)

Determinants of type 2 diabetes risk in middle-aged black South African men and women: dissecting the roles of sex hormones, inflammation and glucocorticoids

PI: Prof Julia Goedecke

Short summary: The study aims to examine the changes in sex hormone levels over the menopausal transition in women, and in men of the same age, and explore the effects on body fat distribution and insulin sensitivity and secretion, dissecting the specific roles of glucocorticoids and inflammatory mediators, in the context of HIV.

Collaborators: Prof Lisa Micklesfield (University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa), Prof Nigel Crowther (National Health Laboratory Service, South Africa), Prof Shane Norris (University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa), Prof Michele Ramsay (University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa), Prof André P. Kengne (South African Medical Research Council, South Africa), Prof Fredrik Karpe (Oxford University, United Kingdom), Prof Tommy Olsson (Umeå University, Sweden)

SAMRC Team Members: Dr Paul van Jaarsveld, Prof André P. Kengne

Students: Clement Kufe (PhD ongoing, WITS), Maphoko Masemola (PhD, ongoing), Melikhaya Soboyisi (MSc 2019, WITS), Tshifhiwa Ratshikombo (MSc ongoing, WITS)

Funding: The study was jointly funded by the South African Medical Research Council (MRC) from South African National Department of Health, MRC UK (via the Newton Fund) and GSK Africa Non-Communicable Disease Open Lab and South African National Research Foundation 

Publications:

  1. Kufe NC, Masemola M, Chikowore T, Kengne AP, Olsson T, Goedecke JH, Micklesfield LK. Protocol for systematic review and meta-analysis of sex hormones and diabetes risk in ageing men and women of African ancestry. BMJ Open. 2019 Jan 03;9(1):e024446. DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2018-024446

Contact person: Prof Julia Goedecke (Julia.goedecke@mrc.ac.za)

Thematic area 4: Social and developmental origins and consequences of Cardio-metabolic disorders: focus on the Environment & Lifecourse malnutrition

Food-SAMSA - Food environment that Promote NCDs in Africa: Addressing malnutrition using a syndemics approach

PI: Prof Zandile J Mchiza

Co-PIs: Dr Jillian Hill (South African Medical Research Council, South Africa), Prof Peter von Philipsborn (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Germany), Prof Eva Rehfuess (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Germany), Prof Peter Delobellev (University of the Western Cape, South Africa), Dr Martina Lembani (University of the Western Cape, South Africa), Prof Vicki Lambert (University of Cape Town, South Africa), Dr Olufunke Alaba (University of Cape Town, South Africa)

Short Summary: This project aims to investigate the role of food environment in promoting the development of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in Africa. The focus is on measuring malnutrition in all its forms, including over- and undernutrition, and also assessing its determinants and also exploring interventions to curb malnutrition at the macro (policy), the meso (community) and the micro (interpersonal) level.

Collaboration: Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU Munich), Germany, University of the Western Cape’s School of Public Health (SOPH) and University of Cape Town’s CDIA and HPALS

Students: Ms Katharina Wabnitz (LMU), Ms Carmen Klinger (LMU)

Funding: German Federal Ministry for Food and Agriculture

Contact persons: Prof Zandile Mchiza (zandile.mchiza@mrc.ac.za) and Dr Jillian Hill (jillian.hill@mrc.ac.za)

Street Food Project: Cardio metabolic profile and concomitant blood omega-3 fatty acid, carotenoid and vitamin E statuses of taxi drivers in the Cape Town Metropole area

PI: Prof Zandile J Mchiza

Co-PI: Prof Maretha Opperman (Cape Peninsula University of Technology, South Africa)

Short Summary: This project is aimed at assessing the dietary intake, metabolic syndrome and its risk factors, as well as blood levels of omega-3 FA, carotenoids and vitamin E among taxi drivers who operate in the Cape Town Metropole area.

Collaboration: Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) and Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)

Students: Mr Derrick Sekgala (PhD, UWC), Ms Buhle Mpahleni (MSc, CPUT)

Funding: National Research Foundation, CPUT and SAMRC

Publications:

  1. Steyn NP, Mchiza Z, Hill J, Davids YD, Venter I, Hinrichsen E, Opperman M, Rumbelow J, Jacobs P. Nutritional contribution of street foods to the diet of people in developing countries: a systematic review. Public Health Nutrition. 2014;17(6):1363-74. Epub 2013 May 17.
  2. Hill J, Mchiza Z, Fourie J, Puoane T, Steyn N. Consumption patterns of street food consumers in Cape Town. Journal of Family Ecology and Consumer Sciences. 2016 Jan 01 (Special edition):  25-35
  3. Hill J, Mchiza Z, Puoane T, Steyn NP. Food sold by street-food vendors in Cape Town and surrounding areas: a focus on food and nutrition knowledge as well as practices related to food preparation of street-food vendors. Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition. 2018 Feb 15:1-15. DOI: 10.1080/19320248.2018.1434104
  4. Hill J, Mchiza Z, Puaone T, Steyn N. The development of an evidenced based street-food vending model for vulnerable groups within Cape Town, South Africa. South African Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2018 Sep 30;31(3 (Suppl 1)): S11.
  5. Hill J, Mchiza Z, Puoane T, Steyn N. The development of an evidence-based street food vending model within a socioecological framework: a guide for African countries. PLoS ONE. 2019 Oct 22;14(10):e0223535.DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0223535

Contact person: Prof Zandile Mchiza (zandile.mchiza@mrc.ac.za)

Tracking food and beverage advertising in South Africa

PI: Prof Zandile J Mchiza

Co-PI’s: Prof Nelia Steyn (University of Cape Town, South Africa), Prof Norman Temple (Athabasca University, Canada), Dr Whadi-ah Parker (Human Sciences Research Council, South Africa), Dr Zulfa Abrahams (University of Cape Town, South Africa), Dr Jeroen De Man (University of Antwerp, Belgium), Dr Sunday Onagbye (University of the Western Cape, South Africa )

Short Summary: This project is aimed at compiling the audits of food and beverage advertising in South Africa: investigating food advertising in popular print Media and Television Broadcasting Channels  

Collaboration: UWC, UCT, HSRC and Athabasca University

Student: Daniel Awusi Yamoah (MPH, UWC) 

Funding: Athabasca University

Publications:

  1. Mchiza ZJ, Temple NJ, Steyn NP, Abrahams Z, Clayford M. Content analysis of television food advertisements aimed at adults and children in South Africa. Public Health Nutrition, 2013, 16(12): 2213-2220. Epub 2013 Aug 7. DOI: 10.1017/S136898001300205X

Contact person: Prof Zandile Mchiza (zandile.mchiza@mrc.ac.za)

Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Health

PI: Prof Zandile J Mchiza

Co-PIs: Prof Charlotte De Backer (University of Antwerp, Belgium), Dr Yandisa Ngqangashe (Australian National University, Australia), Dr Sunday Onagbye (University of the Western Cape, South Africa)

Short Summary: This project aims at investigating the role played by current global COVID-19 pandemic on shopping, cooking, food consumption, mental health and physical activity of individuals occurring globally. It also explores complementary and conventional interventions that could prove beneficial in ameliorating some of the respiratory difficulties associated with COVID-19 infections amidst the scarcity of vaccines and specific drugs to prevent and treat this disease, especially in countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

Collaboration: University of Antwerp, and Katholieke Universiteit (KU) Leuven Co-Investigators, University of Auckland, University of the Western Cape SOPH and Sport, Recreation and Exercise Science & 38 international countries

Funding: University of Antwerp

Contact person: Prof Zandile Mchiza (zandile.mchiza@mrc.ac.za)

Body size, Mental health, and Inequalities (BMI): a life course approach

PI: Prof Zandile J Mchiza

Co-PIs: Prof Ilona Koupil (Stockholm University, Sweden), Dr Whadi-ah Parker (Human Sciences Research Council, South Africa), Ms Amy Heshmati (Stockholm University, Sweden), Dr Daniel Falkstedt (Karolinska Institut, Sweden), Prof Demetre Labadarios (Human Sciences Research Council, South Africa), Dr Sunday Onagbye (University of the Western Cape, South Africa), Dr Anton Lager (Stockholm University, Sweden), Prof Christina Dalman (Karolinska Institute, Sweden), Prof Gita Mishra (University of Queensland, Australia), Prof Anna Goodman (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, England)

Short Summary: This project aims to use complementary existing sources of information from surveys, cohort studies and register data linkages to measure the burden of overweight and obesity and its strong social patterning in South Africa and Sweden. It also applies modern methods from life course epidemiology to investigate and address the social and developmental origins and consequences of overweight and obesity, negative body image, disordered eating and related psychological problems across the life course and across generations.

Collaboration: Stockholm University and Karolinska Institut, Sweden and HSRC

Students: Zakir Hossin (Stockholm University), Menghan Gao (Stockholm University)

Funding: SAMRC/FORTE Swedish Council for Health

Publications:

  1. Mchiza ZJ, Parker WA, Hossin MZ, Heshmati A, Labadarios D, Falkstedt D, Koupil I. Social and psychological predictors of body mass index among South Africans 15 years and older: SANHANES-1. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public health. 2019 Oct 15;16(20):3919. DOI: 10.3390/ijerph16203919
  2. Mchiza ZJ, Parker WA, Sewpaul R, Onagbiye SO, Labadarios D. Body image and the double burden of nutrition among South Africans from diverse sociodemographic backgrounds: SANHANES-1. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020 Jan 31;17(3):887. DOI: 10.3390/ijerph17030887

Contact person: Prof Zandile Mchiza (zandile.mchiza@mrc.ac.za)

Link: https://www.facebook.com/BMILifecourse/

MM-EE - multi-media entertainment-education project

PI: Prof Zandile J Mchiza

Co-PIs: Prof Charlotte De Backer (University of Antwerp, Belgium), Dr Yandisa Ngqangashe (Australian National University, Australia), Prof Heidi Vandebosch (University of Antwerp, Belgium), Prof Christophe Matthys (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium)

Short Summary: This project aims to develop and validate a multi-media education-entertainment (MM-EE) program to improve food and nutrition literacy, as well as body image of South African community health workers (CHWs) who operate in 3 townships (Gugulethu, Nyanga and Kensington).

Collaboration: University of Antwerp, and Katholieke Universiteit (KU) Leuven Co-Investigators & Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU Munich), Germany, University of the Western Cape’s (UWC) SOPH, South Africa & University of Cape Town’s CDIA & HPALS, South Africa

Students: Ms Asiphe Ketelo (MPH, UWC)

Funding: VLIR-UOS (Belgium, Flanders)

Contact person: Prof Zandile Mchiza (zandile.mchiza@mrc.ac.za)

 

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