Current Diabetes Reports

, 19:113 | Cite as

Pregnancy and Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM) in North American Indian Adolescents and Young Adults (AYA): Implications for Girls and Stopping GDM

  • Kelly MooreEmail author
  • Sarah Stotz
  • Andrea Fischl
  • Sandra Beirne
  • Kristie McNealy
  • Hiba Abujaradeh
  • Denise Charron-Prochownik
Pediatric Type 2 and Monogenic Diabetes (O Pinhas-Hamiel, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Pediatric Type 2 and Monogenic Diabetes


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.

Recent Findings

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.


Pregnancy 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.

Funding Information

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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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kelly Moore
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sarah Stotz
    • 1
  • Andrea Fischl
    • 2
  • Sandra Beirne
    • 3
  • Kristie McNealy
    • 4
  • Hiba Abujaradeh
    • 2
  • Denise Charron-Prochownik
    • 2
  1. 1.Centers for American Indian and Alaska Native Health, Colorado School of Public Health, CU Anschutz Medical CampusAuroraUSA
  2. 2.University of Pittsburgh School of NursingPittsburghUSA
  3. 3.Northern Navajo Medical CenterShiprockUSA
  4. 4.Sundance Research InstituteBethesdaUSA

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