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Kinesiology Professor Receives $2.8 Million Grant for Gestational Diabetes Research

Suzanne Phelan
Suzanne Phelan

Kinesiology Professor Suzanne Phelan recently received $2.8 million from the National Institutes of Health for ongoing research into ways to prevent the recurrence of gestational diabetes. This condition develops during pregnancy and can cause long-term health problems in mothers and their babies. It can also lead to severe pregnancy and delivery complications.

Phelan, her fellow researchers, and a group of Cal Poly students will examine whether improving weight, eating and activity before pregnancy reduces the mother’s long-term risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease and the baby’s risk of obesity.

“I hope findings from this study will form the basis for shifting current healthcare models toward a provision of care before pregnancy,” Phelan said.

Through a five-year clinical trial, Phelan’s group will track a group of pregnant women as they implement lifestyle changes such as a different diet and increased exercise. Student researchers will participate in all stages of this research, including recruitment, physical assessment of the women’s weight changes and health, and data analysis.

“Obesity and gestational diabetes tend to go hand in hand. A healthier weight reduces risks of all kinds of problems,” Phelan tells The San Luis Obispo Tribune.

Read the entire interview.

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