This World Diabetes Day, we’d like to tell you about the work Sidra is doing in relation to gestational diabetes. Principal Investigator Lars Hedin and Pregnancy Registry Manager, Ingrid Osmond are about to embark on a study on causes and risk factors associated with developing gestational diabetes, especially relevant in Qatar where a higher than average number of cases exists. The research will focus on Qatari mothers first with other nationalities to follow in later studies.
Sidra’s study will include around 200 expectant mothers and will examine the various factors that lead to the development of gestational diabetes, including repeated weight measurement, development and distribution of fat tissue (a major target for insulin and a key factor leading to gestational diabetes) and monitoring blood sugar levels in addition to standard oral glucose tolerance tests. By reviewing a variety of factors, the researchers are looking to calculate the risk factors associated with developing gestational diabetes and advise at-risk expectant mothers on what measures they need to take during pregnancy.
The research will also look into the amount of fat and its location in a person’s body – a research area with little available data. The study will advise those with the increased risk of gestational diabetes to take more care during the entire period of their pregnancy looking at lifestyle changes, diet and specialist referrals if needed. They will also be guided on how to reduce their blood sugar levels to normal levels and minimize the risk for themselves and their foetuses.
The study will put Qatar in a strong position to successfully collaborate on similar studies with other countries. It has the potential to not only look at early preventive measures to combat gestational diabetes but also set the agenda for the entire region. In collaboration with Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, Qatar Diabetes Association and Qatar Biomedical Research Institute, Hamad Medical Corporation, the Anti-Doping Laboratory-Qatar, Aspire Academy and Aspetar, the study will strengthen national efforts to find new interventions and treatment options for diabetes.