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Healthy Start Study

Healthy Start Study

The Healthy Start Study​ (Exploring the Fuel-Mediated Programming of Neonatal Growth) is a five-year study funded by the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney diseases (NIDDK). The overall goal of the study is to understand the contribution of metabolic and behavioral factors during pregnancy to the development of obesity, insulin resistance and inflammatory markers in newborns and infants. 

This research will advance our understanding of how maternal metabolism (levels of glucose, insulin, lipids, free fatty acids and inflammatory markers) and behaviors (weight gain, diet, and physical activity) may influence fetal growth and development, and the risk of obesity later in life. 

Healthy Start is a collaboration of investigators in epidemiology, obstetrics and gynecology and pediatrics at the Colorado School of Public Health, University of Colorado School of Medicine and University of Colorado Hospital.

The study has been following more than 800 ethnically-diverse pregnant women to assess the impact of intrauterine exposures on neonatal outcomes. To learn more, visit​.

Participant visits consisted of the following:
  • Two maternal in-person visits during pregnancy, one survey at delivery and one survey after delivery.
  • Each in-person visit includes: a fasting blood draw (blood sugar, lipids and other  blood markers); answering of study related questions; height, weight, blood pressure and skin fold measurements.
  • Baby measurements at delivery:
  • Length, weight, skin folds
  • Body composition (no radiation involved)
  • Cord blood collection after delivery
  • For more information, please contact:

    Dana Dabelea, MD, PhD 

    Principal Investigator
    Colorado School of Public Health 
    University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus
    13001 East 17th Ave, Box B119, Room W3110 
    Aurora, CO 80045 
    Tel: 303.724.4414 

    Mercedes Martinez, MPH, CHES

    Study  Coordinator
    Colorado School of Public Health
    University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus
    12474 E. 19th Ave. Rm.113, Box F426
    Aurora, CO 80045
    Tel: 303.724.4742

    Colorado School of Public Health

    13001 E. 17th Place
    Mail Stop B119
    Aurora, CO 80045



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