BBB Collaborative Research: Diabetes and Women’s Health

Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), a common pregnancy complication, has been related to short- and long-term adverse health outcomes for both women and their children.

Women who developed GDM had an increased risk of preeclampsia and cesarean delivery during pregnancy, and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) after pregnancy. Children of women with GDM were more likely to be obese and have impaired glucose tolerance and diabetes in early adulthood.

BBB collaborates with the Epidemiology Branch (EB) on its Diabetes and Women’s Health (DWH) Study, a retrospective cohort study to collect data from approximately 4,000 women from the United States and Denmark who had GDM. The study followed these women initially for 10 years, with an additional 4-year follow-up to collect updated information on major environmental factors and timed biospecimens.

The study focuses on identifying medical, lifestyle, and genetic determinants and their interactions for the progression from GDM to T2DM and its complications. It also investigates biochemical markers that may predict the development of these complications among the pre-diabetic population.

Principal Investigators

BBB: Aiyu Liu, Ph.D.
EB: Cuilin Zhang, Ph.D., M.P.H., M.D.

Selected Publications

Li, M., Rahman, M. L., Wu, J., Ding, M., Chavarro, J. E., Lin, Y., Ley, S. H., ... Zhang, C. (2020). Genetic factors and risk of type 2 diabetes among women with a history of gestational diabetes: findings from two independent populations. BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care, 8(1). PMID: 31958311. PMCID: PMC7039588

Purdue-Smithe, A. C., Mumford, S. L., Mills, J. L., Mannisto, T., Suvanto, E., Mannisto, T., Mannisto, T., ... Gissler, M. (2019). The joint role of thyroid function and iodine status on risk of preterm birth and small for gestational age: a population-based nested case-control study of Finnish women. Nutrients, 11(11), 2573. PMID: 31731400. PMCID: PMC6893669

Bell, G. A., Männistö, T., Liu, A., Kannan, K., Yeung, E. H., Kim, U.-J., Suvanto, E., ... Mills, J. L. (2019). The joint role of thyroid function and iodine concentration on gestational diabetes risk in a population-based study. Acta Obstetricia Et Gynecologica Scandinavica, 98(4), 500-506. PMID: 30580457

Hinkle, S. N., Rawal, S., Bjerregaard, A. A., Halldorsson, T. I., Li, M., Ley, S. H., Wu, J., ... Zhang, C. (2019). A prospective study of artificially sweetened beverage intake and cardiometabolic health among women at high risk. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 110(1), 221-232. PMID: 31172169. PMCID: PMC6599744

Zhang, C., Olsen, S. F., Hinkle, S. N., Gore-Langton, R. E., Vaag, A., Grunnet, L. G., Yeung, E. H., ... Diabetes & Women’s Health Study team. (2019). Diabetes & Women's Health (DWH) Study: an observational study of long-term health consequences of gestational diabetes, their determinants and underlying mechanisms in the USA and Denmark. BMJ Open, 9(4). PMID: 31048434. PMCID: PMC6502016

Panuganti, P. L., Hinkle, S. N., Rawal, S., Grunnet, L. G, Lin, Y., Liu, A., Thuesen, A. C. B., ... Zhang, C. (2018). Lactation duration and long-term thyroid function: a study among women with gestational diabetes. Nutrients, 10(7), pii: E938. PMID: 30037073. PMCID: PMC6073731

Ding, M., Chavarro, J., Olsen, S., Lin, Y., Ley, S. H., Bao, W., Rawal, S., Grunnet, L., Thuesen, A. C., Mills, J. L., Yeung, E., Liu, A., Hinkle, S. N., Zhang, W., Vaag, A., Hu, F. B., & Zhang, C. (2018). Genetic variants of gestational diabetes mellitus: a study of 112 SNPs among 8,722 women in two independent populations. Diabetologia, 61, 1758-1768. PMID: 29947923. PMCID: PMC6701842

Li, S., Zhu, Y., Chavarro, J. E., Bao, W., Tobias, D. K., Ley, S. H., Forman, J. P., ... Zhang, C. (2016). Healthful dietary patterns and the risk of hypertension among women with a history of gestational diabetes mellitus: a prospective cohort study. Hypertension, 67(6), 1157-1165. PMID: 27091899. PMCID: PMC4865422

Zhu, Y., Olsen, S. F., Mendola, P., Yeung, E. H., Vaag, A., Bowers, K., Liu, A., ... Zhang, C. (2016). Growth and obesity through the first 7 y of life in association with levels of maternal glycemia during pregnancy: a prospective cohort study. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 103(3), 794-800. PMID: 26817507. PMCID: PMC4763496

Zhang, C., Hu, F. B., Olsen, S. F., Vaag, A., Gore-Langton, R., Chavarro, J. E., Bao, W., ... Fan, R. (2014). Rationale, design, and method of the Diabetes & Women's Health study - a study of long-term health implications of glucose intolerance in pregnancy and their determinants. Acta Obstetricia Et Gynecologica Scandinavica, 93(11), 1123-1130. PMID: 24828694. PMCID: PMC4205761

Bao, W., Mills, J., Liu, A., Kiely, M., Zhang, C., Tobias, D. K., Chavarro, J., ... Strmo, M. (2014). Physical activity and sedentary behaviors associated with risk of progression from gestational diabetes mellitus to type 2 diabetes mellitus: a prospective cohort study. JAMA Internal Medicine, 174(7), 1047-1055. PMID: 24841449. PMCID: PMC4209161

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