Applied Research Programs
Vulnerable Populations/Population Health
Program Leader: Dr. Lorraine Lipscombe
The program expands and strengthens the impact of the knowledge generated by the core group of University of Toronto-based diabetes population health scientists by bringing together front-line clinicians and public health and policy researchers to help frame research questions, and directly shape health policy. Key areas of focus are:
Together with her colleagues Drs. Feig and Berger of the BBDC’s Diabetes In Pregnancy Study Group program, Dr. Lipscombe is leading the Diabetes in Pregnancy Sub-study to create a sub-cohort of women with diabetes in pregnancy (DIP) within the Ontario Family Health Study (OFHS). This cohort will include women with pre-gestational and gestational diabetes who been referred to DIP clinics within participating OFHS sites. The goal is to create a DIP module within the OFHS that will contain DIP-specific clinical data from DIP patients within the OFHS. The team is in the process of creating the DIP database and receiving ethics approvals to recruit women at participating sites and populate the DIP module of the OFHS. This will enable researchers to follow women with DIP and their offspring for long-term outcomes of diabetes in pregnancy. As a second project, the team used a novel database of primary care electronic medical records linked to health care administrative data to create and validate algorithms to identify and track patients with diabetes within population-based health care systems. They are currently preparing a manuscript for publication, which will have national and international impact on the ability to study patients with diabetes on a population level.