Props For The HAPO Study And Dr. Don Coustan

My dad had a nice mention in the Wall Street Journal yesterday about a 10 year Gestational Diabetes study he’s been working on that just published some of its results. It’s great to see the fruits of the HAPO study reach the popular press. I’ll leave it to WaPo author Serena Gordon to provide the quick version of the study’s findings: “The higher a woman’s blood sugar levels were, the more likely she was to have a C-section, to develop preeclampsia, have premature delivery and to have the delivery complication known as shoulder dystocia, the study found…Babies born to women with higher glucose levels were more likely to have high insulin levels, low blood sugar, and to have a large birth weight, all indications of exposure to high glucose levels.” Although it didn’t prescribe a specific threshold for when knowledge of these risks should play in to pregnancy treatment plans, it’s expected to spark discussions around that topic in the medical community in the upcoming weeks and months that could lead to some of those standards being modified. Congratulations to the HAPO study team, all of its authors, and everyone who contributed along the way. I still remember their brainstorming session for the all-important acronym, about a decade ago.

My dad’s WSJ quote makes a career blogger proud, making sure the reporter understands the research value of the study in its proper context and seeks to make sure its immediate impact isn’t overclaimed in the mainstream press:

“Dr. Coustan said the implications of the study are “about the future, not about the present,” adding it won’t “affect clinical practice this week or this month.”

The Washington Post also wrote up the study, as did US News And World Report, Forbes, and several other outlets. He said he did some interviews with bloggers as well, but since the medical blogosphere isn’t on my daily reads, I haven’t come across any coverage there yet.

This also represents a strange collision of my family life and the Friday Heh Lists. Yes, last night it dawned on me – my dad studies the beetis.

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