Background: In conjunction with the growing prevalence of obesity and the older age of pregnant women gestational diabetes (GDM) is a major health problem.The aim of the study was to evaluate if a lifestyle intervention since early pregnancy is feasible in improving the glucose tolerance of women at a high-risk for GDM in Finland.
Methods: A 75-g oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) was performed in early pregnancy (n = 102). Women at high risk for GDM (n = 54) were randomized at weeks 8-12 from Apr 2005 to May 2006 to a lifestyle intervention group (n = 27) or to a close follow-up group (n = 27). An OGTT was performed again at weeks 26-28 for the lifestyle intervention and close follow-up groups.
Results: The values of the OGTT during the second trimester did not differ between the lifestyle intervention and close follow-up groups. In the lifestyle intervention group three women had GDM in the second trimester and respectively one woman in the close follow up group. Insulin therapy was not required in both groups. The intervention resulted in somewhat lower weight gain 11.4 ± 6.0 kg vs. 13.9 ± 5.1 kg, p = 0.062, adjusted by the prepregnancy weight.
Conclusions: Early intervention with an OGTT and simple lifestyle advice is feasible. A more intensive lifestyle intervention did not offer additional benefits with respect to glucose tolerance, although it tended to ameliorate the weight gain.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT01130012.