NIH Study to Improve Gestational Diabetes Screening and Diagnosis

Lindsey Carr

Associate Editor for Contemporary OB/GYN

“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 Barbara Linder, MD, PHD, the project scientist for the study.

A new study aims to improve gestational diabetes screening and diagnosis. Supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Glycemic Observation and Metabolic Outcomes in Mothers and Offspring study (GO MOMs) aims to fill knowledge gaps in gestational diabetes screening and diagnosis by better understanding blood glucose levels throughout pregnancy.

GO MOMS has sites around the country and will enroll about 2,150 people without diabetes and in their first trimester of pregnancy. It also will use continuous glucose monitoring technology to map blood glucose levels throughout pregnancy. The study is funded by NIH’s National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK).

“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 Barbara Linder, MD, PhD, the project scientist for the study, in a recent NIH press release. “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.”

GO MOMs will use a previously NIH-funded study and its follow-up for the foundation, which examined hyperglycemia and adverse pregnancy outcomes (HAPO and HAPO-FUS). The first study found that people with elevated blood glucose during pregnancy—even if not high enough to meet the definition of gestational diabetes—are significantly more likely to develop type 2 diabetes or prediabetes years after pregnancy than their counterparts with elevated glucose.

The data and results of GO MOMs will help determine timing and approach for future clinical trials to understand when and how to screen for and treat elevated blood glucose in pregnancy, and if this treatment will have any effect on children later in life.