Objective: To assess whether gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) can be prevented by a moderate lifestyle intervention in pregnant women who are at high risk for the disease.
Research design and methods: Two hundred ninety-three women with a history of GDM and/or a prepregnancy BMI of ≥30 kg/m(2) were enrolled in the study at <20 weeks of gestation and were randomly allocated to the intervention group (n = 155) or the control group (n = 138). Each subject in the intervention group received individualized counseling on diet, physical activity, and weight control from trained study nurses, and had one group meeting with a dietitian. The control group received standard antenatal care. The diagnosis of GDM was based on a 75-g, 2-h oral glucose tolerance test at 24-28 weeks of gestation.
Results: A total of 269 women were included in the analyses. The incidence of GDM was 13.9% in the intervention group and 21.6% in the control group ([95% CI 0.40-0.98%]; P = 0.044, after adjustment for age, prepregnancy BMI, previous GDM status, and the number of weeks of gestation). Gestational weight gain was lower in the intervention group (-0.58 kg [95% CI -1.12 to -0.04 kg]; adjusted P = 0.037). Women in the intervention group increased their leisure time physical activity more and improved their dietary quality compared with women in the control group.
Conclusions: A moderate individualized lifestyle intervention reduced the incidence of GDM by 39% in high-risk pregnant women. These findings may have major health consequences for both the mother and the child.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01698385.
© 2016 by the American Diabetes Association. Readers may use this article as long as the work is properly cited, the use is educational and not for profit, and the work is not altered.