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Diabetes Discoveries & Practice Blog

NIH Launches Study to Advance Gestational Diabetes Screening

A doctor speaking with a patient.

This NIDDK-supported study is working to better understand blood glucose levels throughout pregnancy.

The NIH recently announced a new NIDDK-supported study, the Glycemic Observation and Metabolic Outcomes in Mothers and Offspring study, or GO MOMs, that seeks to determine the best time for gestational diabetes screening during pregnancy.

Gestational diabetes is usually diagnosed between the 24th and 28th week of pregnancy, which may be too late to counteract some long-lasting harm to the pregnant person and child. Results from the NIDDK-funded Hyperglycemia and Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes-Follow-up Study, or HAPO-FUS, found that mothers with elevated blood glucose during pregnancy—even if not high enough to meet the traditional definition of gestational diabetes—are significantly more likely to develop type 2 diabetes a decade after pregnancy than their counterparts without high blood glucose. Yet, many of the details surrounding changes in blood glucose metabolism during pregnancy remain unknown. With study sites around the country, GO MOMs aims to fill in these knowledge gaps and will use continuous glucose monitoring technology to map blood glucose levels throughout pregnancy.

“GO MOMs will set the foundation for determining future approaches to the screening, diagnosis, and eventually the treatment of elevated blood glucose during pregnancy,” said NIDDK program director Dr. Barbara Linder, the project scientist for the study. “By understanding more about glucose levels during pregnancy, we can identify potential early indicators of gestational diabetes and pinpoint the best times to screen for and treat it.”

The study is open and recruiting people in their first trimester of pregnancy without diabetes and willing to use a continuous glucose monitoring device for 10 days at four different times during their pregnancy. All participants will be compensated up to $550 for taking part in the study. To learn more and enroll, interested people can visit www.GoMomsStudy.org.

“We hope to recruit a diverse group of GO MOMs participants to help pinpoint key changes during pregnancy and see if there are associations with a subsequent gestational diabetes diagnosis and large size at birth for the offspring,” said Dr. William Lowe, professor of medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, and study chair for GO MOMs.

For more information about the study, read the NIDDK press release.

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