Helping Hoosier Moms Stay Healthy
The goals of the Hoosier Moms Cohort are to discover the causes of diabetes during pregnancy (gestational diabetes) and stop its transition into Type 2 diabetes. The researchers are also investigating the effectiveness of personalized treatment and prevention strategies.
This program has two distinct phases. The first one is focused on women who are currently pregnant. The second involves women who have had children and were previously diagnosed with gestational diabetes.
The project is part of 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.
The first phase of this program focuses on women who are currently pregnant, to better understand the risks that could lead to a gestational diabetes diagnosis. Women who participate in the study start when they are less than 20 weeks pregnant. Researchers look at many factors -- like socio-economic conditions, genetic information, demographics and more -- to try to get a better idea of the environment for Indiana moms as a whole.
The process consists of a screening visit and two follow-up visits throughout the pregnancy. It also includes 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 3D ultrasound of their baby, as well as a wearable activity tracker.
Another part of the first phase incorporates a nationwide study, called nuMoM2b (pronounced "New Mom To Be"), which stands for Nulliparous Pregnancy Outcome Study: Monitoring Our Mothers To Be. That study, which David Haas, MD, was involved with, collected samples from 10,000 pregnant women from around the country, but was not specifically looking for risk factors of gestational diabetes. Researchers in Bloomington are analyzing those genetic samples and seeing how they can be incorporated with the Hoosier Moms Cohort study.
Phase I has been going on since 2018. The goal for this part is to study 500 pregnant Hoosier women. Moms can still sign up to be part of this study.
The second phase of this program focuses on prevention. Researchers are finding women who have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes in the past (but have already given birth) and trying to understand how to prevent them from transitioning to Type 2 diabetes. They do this by creating personalized treatment options, such as Weight Watchers or providing a nutrition coach.
Phase II started in July 2019. The goal for this part is to study 150 Hoosier moms. Women can still sign up to be part of this study.
The Hoosier Moms Cohort is established in Indianapolis and working to develop satellite locations in Muncie, Bloomington and Evansville. As participants in Phase I deliver their babies, those who develop gestational diabetes will be invited to participate in Phase II of the study.