Gestational Diabetes Study
ORCHID: Optimisation of Rural Clinical & Haematological Indicators of Diabetes
The Val Lishman Health Research Foundation is supporting researchers at The Rural Clinical School of Western Australia, in conjunction with The University of Western Australia and The University of Notre Dame, with their ORCHID research project. The project is looking at better ways of testing for gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM).
GDM is the most common maternal health condition, affecting 15 % of women in rural WA. The only recognised test for GDM is the Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT) – a test that involves a pregnant woman drinking a very sweet liquid, waiting two hours and then having her blood glucose level tested. Currently only 50% of women living in rural WA are being screened for GDM using the OGTT. Based on these figures, it is estimated that approximately 450 women each year with GDM are not diagnosed in rural WA. Clinical advise is that 100% of women should be tested to minimise adverse consequences for mother and baby.
This study, under the direction of Coordinating Principal Investigator Dr Julia Marley PhD, will take place in over 10 rural and remote towns and Aboriginal communities across the state. It is hoped that in excess of 600 women will be recruited to participate in the study.
Dr Marley said: “In everyday health service practice the current screening test for GDM is too difficult to achieve. We are looking for a simpler way to screen for diabetes in pregnancy, to see if we can detect it earlier and to reduce the number of women needing to have the OGTT”.