Why the "MOLI-SANI project"
Cardiovascular Disease and Tumours cause more than half of all deaths in the western world. It’s a terrible price that our people pay every day.
The risk to get sick depends on many variables, that researchers call “risk factors”. Some of them are genetic in origin. They are there since the individual’s birth, are written into the cells, and can’t be changed. Others depend on the environment, on a person’s lifestyle and diet, whether he/she smokes or not and so on. Health is a real “treasure chest”, to build up every day on good habits and good dishes.
Between these two elements, genetics on one hand, lifestyle on the other, a complex equilibrium does exist, often setting the border between health and sickness. To know it better, means to give new weapons, often crucial, in the hands of the doctors and their patients. It also means to adjust therapies, to find out which drug is good for a patient and which prevention strategy will work better for him/her.
To better understand the equilibrium between genetics and environment, and its consequences on cardiovascular and cancer disease, the Moli-sani project is transforming an Italian region into a scientific laboratory. It is the “Molise Lab”.
Thanks to a close interaction with General Practitioners, 25,000 people will be enrolled. We want to know a lot of things about them (you can see details in the specific sections). A great amount of information useful not only for future research: all clinical and laboratory results are being given back in the hands of participants, so they are able to discuss with their GP the best way to prevent such diseases.
And we will follow them in the years to come. Every three years we will again contact participants to ask them how is their health, which drugs are they taking, if their lifestyle has changed and so on. Over time, someone will get sick, it is unavoidable. Then we’ll inquire what happened, and and try to understand why.
To summarize, 25,000 “molisani” are going to have a new family friend, one who, here and there, loves to know how things are going on in the house. And, as science information will grow up, we’ll know more and more about risk factors for cardiovascular disease and cancer, and we’ll know better what to do to prevent them. Finally, we’ll be in close contact with one of the “stars” of the medical scene in the last years: the Mediterranean Diet.