Gestational Diabetes Mellitus Can Be Prevented by Lifestyle Intervention: The Finnish Gestational Diabetes Prevention Study (RADIEL): A Randomized Controlled Trial

Diabetes Care. 2016 Jan;39(1):24-30. doi: 10.2337/dc15-0511. Epub 2015 Jul 29.


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: NCT01698385.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Mass Index
  • Counseling*
  • Diabetes, Gestational / epidemiology
  • Diabetes, Gestational / prevention & control*
  • Diet*
  • Female
  • Finland / epidemiology
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Humans
  • Life Style*
  • Obesity / prevention & control
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Care
  • Primary Prevention
  • Weight Gain
  • Young Adult

Associated data