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Approved Research

The utility of polygenic risk score (PRS) to identify the risk of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) in pregnant women

Principal Investigator: Dr Sarah Brozio
Approved Research ID: 76085
Approval date: November 16th 2021

Lay summary

Gestational diabetes is a condition where a mother who was not previously diabetic develops high blood sugar levels during pregnancy. Gestational diabetes increases the risk of complications in both the mother and the baby. For the child, it may result in excessive weight at birth, a preterm birth, hypoglycemia (lower-than-normal blood sugar), Type II diabetes (the body develops resistance to the hormone insulin) later in life, and potential stillbirth. For the mother, it drastically increases the risk of high blood pressure, preeclampsia, and developing diabetes later in life. Gestational diabetes can also lead to further pregnancy-related complications, increased risk of difficulties giving birth, and pregnancy-related death. Like many other illnesses, gestational diabetes is affected by many genetic changes, frequently coupled with social and environmental factors. A polygenic risk score (PRS) is a score that can estimate a person's risk for developing a disease based on their genetics or DNA. This is often displayed in a way that tells how at risk a person is for a specific condition. The proposed study is to study these changes to understand the role that genetics plays in gestational diabetes across different populations. The expected value of this study is to produce a novel PRS for gestational diabetes by which women in their early pregnancy can learn about their risk of developing gestational diabetes, based on the total number of changes related to this condition. Our goal is to provide women with individual risk assessment and health advice that can help them manage their personal risk for developing gestational diabetes. The proposed duration of this study is 2 or 3 years.