Palaniappan, Latha P., MD
Gestational diabetes in Asian Americans: predictors, problems and progression
General Research Subject: Gestational Diabetes
Focus: Other, Pregnancy
Type of Grant: Clinical Translational Research
Project Start Date: July 1, 2012
Project End Date: June 30, 2015
Gestational diabetes (GDM) is one of the most common clinical issues of pregnancy and can have adverse effects for both mother and child. Asian Americans have the highest rates of GDM in the U.S. There is limited information regarding racial/ethnic differences in gestational diabetes among Asian American subgroups (Asian Indian, Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese), compared to Non-Hispanic Whites. This study seeks to better understand specific racial/ethnic differences in predictors of GDM, problems associated with GDM, and the progression to type 2 diabetes, in order to provide targeted research directions and clinical interventions in this highest risk group.
This study will take place at a healthcare organization in Northern California with a diverse patient population. A large cohort of Asian American and Non-Hispanic White mothers will be created from 9 years of clinical data (2007 -- 2015). Electronic Health Record (EHR) data will be linked with California birth records, to provide additional demographic information and outcome data. GDM and progression to type 2 diabetes will be determined using gold-standard definitions, including physician-recorded diagnosis codes, laboratory data, and medication usage from the EHR.
The results of this study will fill an important knowledge gap for racial/ethnic differences in GDM. Findings will contribute to a more global understanding of GDM and provide more targeted research, culturally tailored clinical efforts, and public health policy within the U.S. The proposed study aims to decrease incidence of GDM and associated morbidity in diverse populations.
What area of diabetes research does your project cover? What role will this particular project play in preventing, treating and/or curing diabetes?
This project covers the area of gestational diabetes research. Gestational diabetes is one of the most common clinical issues of pregnancy and can have adverse effects for both mother and child. Asian Americans have the highest rates of gestational diabetes in the United States. There is limited information regarding racial/ethnic differences in gestational diabetes among Asian American subgroups (Asian Indian, Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese), compared to Non-Hispanic Whites. This project seeks to better understand specific racial/ethnic differences in predictors of gestational diabetes, problems associated with gestational diabetes, and the progression to type 2 diabetes, in order to provide targeted research directions and culturally tailored clinical interventions in this highest risk group.
If a person with diabetes were to ask you how your project will help them in the future, how would you respond?
This study seeks to decrease the incidence of gestational diabetes and associated morbidity in diverse populations. The results of this project will fill an important knowledge gap for racial/ethnic differences in gestational diabetes. Findings will contribute to a more global understanding of gestational diabetes and provide targeted research, culturally tailored clinical efforts, and public health policy within the United States.
Why is it important for you, personally, to become involved in diabetes research? What role will this award play in your research efforts?
I became interested and involved in diabetes research among diverse populations because of the increased prevalence of diabetes among certain racial/ethnic groups. Specifically, I became interested in studying diabetes and chronic disease among Asian Americans because they are often aggregated in research studies, yet there is extensive heterogeneity among the individual Asian American subgroups (e.g., Asian Indian, Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese). For example, Asian Indians in particular, are one of the highest-risk groups for diabetes and other chronic disease. I experienced this personally, as my dad died of a heart attack, at the age of 39. This award will help facilitate research efforts and allow us to gain a better understanding of gestational diabetes among Asian American subgroups.
In what direction do you see the future of diabetes research going?
I believe that the future of diabetes research will involve more translational and community-based efforts, to allow the benefits of approaches that have been proven to be effective to be fully realized in healthcare and community settings. I also believe that it is important to put research into practice by implementing culturally tailored healthcare and interventions to increase patient and provider awareness surrounding these health important issues.
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