The Indiana University School of Medicine has begun an exciting new research project examining the causes of diabetes during pregnancy – also known as gestational diabetes – and stopping its transition into Type 2 diabetes, as well as the effectiveness of personalized prevention strategies. Led by an expert team of IU faculty from an array of different schools, departments, and specialties, this project includes the genetic analysis of 10,000 blood samples, an observational study of how different factors impact the development of gestational diabetes, and a prevention study involving the treatment women previously diagnosed with gestational diabetes. The project stems from the IU Precision Health Initiative, a $120 million program which aims to improve health outcomes by better understanding the genetic, behavioral and environmental factors that influence a person’s health.
While diabetes has been a hot topic in medical research over the last few years, there has been little focus on gestational diabetes. Much of the information about causes and the transition to Type 2 diabetes has yet to be uncovered, and the team at IU is in a prime position to make a meaningful impact in the world of gestational diabetes. While only 4% of all pregnant women develop gestational diabetes, over half of the women who develop it will go on to be diagnosed later in life with Type 2 diabetes. This project aims to improve the lives of millions of women and children around the country.
For those interested in advancing research in the fight against gestational diabetes, the study is currently recruiting for a cohort of pregnant women around Indianapolis (the Hoosier Moms Cohort). It consists of a screening visit and two follow-up visits throughout the pregnancy, and two follow-up visits in the two years after giving birth. This observational study has minimal risk, and is of no cost to participants. Women who participate are compensated for their time and effort and will receive a 3-D ultrasound of their baby, as well as a wearable activity tracker. For more information about the study, or the IU Precision Health Initiative as a whole, go here, or follow this link to start your journey with the IU team.