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Approved Research

Gene-environment interaction study on gestational diabetes mellitus

Principal Investigator: Dr Qiying Song
Approved Research ID: 87134
Approval date: December 16th 2022

Lay summary

Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is a condition where a mother who was not previously diabetic develops high blood sugar levels during pregnancy, which increases the risk of complications in both the mother and the baby. GDM was determined by genetic susceptibility, environmental risk factors, and their interactions. However, it is still a lack of evidence of gene-environment interaction, which could be defined as "a different effect of an environmental exposure on disease risk in persons with different genotypes," or, equivalently, "a different effect of a genotype on disease risk in persons with different environmental exposures." The proposed study is to examine whether diet, physical activity, and other lifestyle factors may interact with the genetic variations in relation to GDM. The large sample size in UK Biobank and its extensive information on diet, physical activity, lifestyle, and other environmental risk factors, as well as genetics, enable us to explore the gene-environment interaction of different risk factors in the pathogenesis underlying GDM. The expected value of this study will contribute to the improvement of the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of common complex diseases. In the gene-environment interaction analysis, we will create different types of genetic predisposition scores for each participant, and examine whether diet, physical activity, and lifestyle risk factors may interact with the genetic scores in relation to GDM. Our goal is to provide women with individual risk assessments and health advice that can help them manage their personal risk for developing gestational diabetes. We plan to apply for the dataset of women only, and the proposed duration is 3 years.