The prevalence of gestational diabetes mellitus in the Latinx community
Hernandez, Nicole Eva
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This literature-based thesis aimed to evaluate the relationship between gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) and the Latinx community. The Latinx community is one of the groups most affected by GDM in the United States of America. Latinx patients have higher prepregnancy body mass index (BMI) and excessive gestational weight gain (GWG), the two main risk factors for developing GDM. The occurrence of GDM increases the risk for adverse pregnancy outcomes and early onset type II diabetes mellitus (T2DM) postpartum. For the fetus, GDM increases the risk of hypoglycemia and hyperinsulinemia, both of which can affect the long-term metabolic health. Current treatments of GDM in Latinx patients focus on lifestyle intervention through diet and exercise, an action that proves to be effective in this population. Enhanced GDM care that includes pregnancy health education in a group setting significantly improves birth outcomes. Advanced screening utilizing biomarkers and more accessible diagnostic tools is recommended for improving GDM treatment in Latinx patients. Finally, pregnancy studies on GDM should adequately represent the Latinx population among participants. Although this thesis analyzed GDM in the Latinx community and offered solutions for the disproportionate adverse pregnancy outcomes, these results may also be applicable to other racially and ethnically diverse populations.