The Center for Non-Communicable Diseases (CNCD) is conducting a range of genomic and lifestyle investigations to identify the causes underlying coronary heart diseases, diabetes and stroke:


Diabetes Mellitus Diabetes is a disorder of glucose imbalance in the body. The burden of this disease is increasing rapidly in this region. It is estimated that by 2030, the number of people suffering from diabetes will almost double in Pakistan. There are many signs and symptoms that could be indicative of diabetes, including frequent urination (polyuria), increase in thirst (polydipsia) and / or appetite (polyphagia) and generalized body weakness. Diabetes leads to a number of other complications and diseases including coronary heart disease, cancers, and diseases of nerves, kidney and eyes. The CNCD is conducting detailed investigations to identify lifestyle, blood-based and genetic factors leading to diabetes. For instance, we, in collaboration with the Imperial College London, discovered six novel genes that increase the risk of diabetes in Pakistan.

Stroke Stroke is the leading cause of disability in Pakistan and the second leading cause of death worldwide. Stroke is caused due to the loss of blood supply to the brain (ischemia) or rupture of brain blood vessels (hemorrhage). There are various symptoms of this disease, which may include partial or complete paralysis, generalized body weakness, numbness, unable to recall, difficulty in speech, eating and / or drinking. Stroke can be caused by high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking and atrial fibrillation. Our on-going investigations are determined to identify the causes that increase the risk of stroke in Pakistan and in other South Asian populations.

Heart Attack Coronary heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide. The burden of heart attack is growing rapidly in Pakistan and it is expected to more than double in the next 20 years. Important underlying causes include diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking and a family history of coronary heart disease. There are also various genetic factors which cause heart attacks, including five novel genes that we discovered in Pakistani and European populations. There are, however, a number of genetic and lifestyle risk factors that remain un-detected and we, through our on-going research, are committed to decipher.