(HealthDay News) — A moderate lifestyle intervention can reduce the incidence of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) among high-risk pregnant women, according to a study published online July 29 in Diabetes Care.
Saila B. Koivusalo, MD, from the University of Helsinki, and colleagues examined whether GDM can be prevented by a moderate lifestyle intervention. Two hundred ninety-three women with a history of GDM and/or a pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI) of ≥30kg/m² were enrolled and randomized to the intervention group (155 women) or the control group (138 women). Participants in the intervention group received individualized counseling with trained nurses on diet, physical activity, and weight control, and had one group meeting with a dietician. The control group received standard antenatal care. The analyses included data from 269 women.
The researchers found that the incidence of GDM was 13.9 and 21.6% in the intervention and control groups, respectively (P=0.044 after adjustment for age, pre-pregnancy BMI, previous GDM status, and number of gestational weeks). The intervention group had lower gestational weight gain (−0.58kg; adjusted P=0.037). Compared with women in the control group, women in the intervention group increased their leisure-time physical activity more and improved their dietary quality.
“A moderate individualized lifestyle intervention reduced the incidence of GDM by 39% in high-risk pregnant women,” the authors write. “These findings may have major health consequences for both the mother and the child.”