Pregnancy and Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM) in North American Indian Adolescents and Young Adults (AYA): Implications for Girls and Stopping GDM
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Purpose of Review
To provide an updated synopsis of the research and clinical practice findings on pregnancy and gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) in American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) adolescents and to describe the newly developed “Stopping GDM,” an early intervention, culturally tailored risk reduction program for AIAN girls and their mothers.
Five research articles met our inclusion criteria. Three retrospective quantitative studies published in the past 10 years corroborated a 1.5 to 2 times higher prevalence for GDM for all age groups in the AIAN population as compared to other ethnic groups, and that the percentage of GDM cases attributable to overweight and obesity was highest for AIs (52.8%). Moreover, First Nations women across all age groups had more adverse pregnancy risk factors than non-First Nations women. Out of the five selected articles, two were qualitative research articles: one examined AIAN women’s experiences of having GDM or type 2 diabetes (T2D) during pregnancy and the other appraised the understanding of GDM and reproductive health of at-risk AIAN girls.
There is a paucity of research published on this topic. AIAN females are at high risk for developing GDM. Early, culturally responsive interventions and cohort follow-up studies are needed among adolescents and young adults, using technology that appeals to this age group.
KeywordsPregnancy Gestational diabetes Native American American Indian Adolescents Preconception counseling
We would like to acknowledge Dr. Mary Lou Klem for her assistance with the literature search. The opinions expressed in this paper are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the IHS.
This study is supported by NIH 1R01NR014831-01A1.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent
This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.
Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance
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