Diabetes and Pregnancy
Precision Health Initiative sheds new light on gestational diabetes
Faith Kuntz was glad her doctor tested her for gestational diabetes early when he noticed a significant weight gain during her pregnancy. For the 35-year-old patient, gestational diabetes wasn’t even on her radar.
According to the American Diabetes Association, diabetes is a particularly serious problem in Indiana, where more than 695,000 children and adults suffer from all forms of diabetes, including Type 1, Type 2 and gestational diabetes. The IU Precision Health Initiative’s diabetes research team is focused on the prevention and progression of this chronic disease, especially in women with gestational diabetes, who are at a higher risk for developing Type 2 diabetes within five to 10 years later.
There are three distinct initiatives within the diabetes research program:
- The team is currently analyzing the genetics of 10,000 pregnant women through blood samples made available via the NIH’s nuMoM2b study to research which biological factors led some of the women to develop Type 2 diabetes.
- The team is currently recruiting pregnant women into a Hoosier Moms Cohort in order to observe how genetic, environmental and socioeconomic factors impact the development of gestational diabetes.
- The team will develop prevention studies in women previously diagnosed with gestational diabetes and who are therefore at higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. The studies will be focused on identifying individual factors that interfere with treatment and designing solutions for overcoming them.
The diabetes team is led by David Haas, MD, of IU School of Medicine and Kay Connelly, PhD, of the IU School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering.