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Do tighter glycaemic targets for managing gestational diabetes improve long-term outcomes for children? A data linkage study

Project Description

Diabetes that develops during pregnancy or gestational diabetes (GDM) is a significant health problem that has a major, negative impact on maternal and perinatal health with lifelong consequences. GDM is associated with an increased risk of later diabetes in mothers and with obesity and developmental delay in their children. What is not known is how glycaemic targets of GDM management during pregnancy alter these consequences.

This study will undertake the assessment of long-term outcomes for the children recruited to the TARGET Study using data linkage. NZ's unique health data environment provides near complete data coverage for many variables via linkage across national and regional databases.

If tighter targets led to improved outcomes for mothers or children, then this would help break the inter-generational cycle of diabetes and obesity and help stem the epidemic of these problems into the future.

The objective of this research project is to determine in the TARGET Study cohort whether tighter or less tight glycaemic targets alter growth, health and development of the children.

The student will be based within the Liggins Institute at the University of Auckland and supervision will be provided by Professor Caroline Crowther, Distinguished Professor Jane Harding (Liggins Institute, University of Auckland) and Dr Barry Milne (Centre of Methods and Policy Applications in the Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, University of Auckland).

Who we are

The Liggins Institute is a world-leading centre for research on fetal and child health, nutrition, development, genome biology and translational and implementation science. Our mission is to improve life-long health through excellent research into the long-term consequences of early life events.

We work across a range of fields to view human health problems from different angles. This unique approach enables us to turn research discoveries into real strategies that will help people to prevent or manage major health problems in the 21st century.
As a research-only institute, we attract some of the best research students and clinical fellows in the world. You’ll be supported by internationally-recognised staff and you’ll benefit from state-of-the-art laboratory facilities and a dedicated clinical research unit.

Relevant publications

To learn more about the Liggins Institute visit

Here is more information about the TARGET trial:

Funding Notes

Applicants should meet the criteria for acceptance to the doctoral program at the University of Auckland and hold a bachelor, masters or professional degree in a relevant discipline including (but are not limited to) medicine, nursing, paediatrics, obstetrics, midwifery or public health.

To apply, please send a CV and academic transcript to Caroline Crowther:

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