Research News

Association between pregnancy glucose measurements and risk of preterm birth found prior to gestational diabetes diagnostic threshold

May 25, 2023 - Gestational diabetes can affect up to 10 percent of pregnancies in the United States and is a well-documented risk factor for preterm birth and other adverse pregnancy outcomes. Data facilitated by the Center for Population Health Science contributed to a new study co-authored by MD/PhD student Richard Liang and Stanford Population Health Sciences Director David Rehkopf that identified an association between higher blood sugar levels during pregnancy and increased risks of preterm birth - even before levels reached the accepted diagnostic threshold for gestational diabetes. 

“This finding indicates that the current cut-off levels for diagnosing gestational diabetes might not adequately identify pregnancies at risk of preterm birth,” Liang explains. “If replicated in other populations, it could lead to changes in the way gestational diabetes is diagnosed and provide clues to uncover the causes of preterm birth.”

School facility-based interventions may provide equitable prevention of wildfire smoke exposure 

May 20, 2023 - Wildfire smoke is particularly hazardous to children and has been linked to asthma and reduced lung function. PHS researcher Esther Velasquez recently coauthored a study quantifying exposure to wildfire smoke among schoolchildren in California.

Velasquez and fellow researchers found that American Indian and Alaska Native students were disproportionately exposed to wildfire smoke and that a small percentage of schools account for half of the exposure. These findings suggest that prioritizing facilities-based interventions to the most affected schools could significantly impact overall burden. Further, the team suggests that the creation of policies regarding ventilation requirements in schools could benefit children in wildfire-prone areas.