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Prevention of gestational diabetes with a prepregnancy lifestyle intervention – findings from a randomized controlled trial

Authors Rönö K, Stach-Lempinen B, Eriksson JG, Pöyhönen-Alho M, Klemetti MM, Roine RP, Huvinen E, Andersson S, Laivuori H, Valkama A, Meinilä J, Kautiainen H, Tiitinen A, Koivusalo SB

Received 13 January 2018

Accepted for publication 24 April 2018

Published 27 August 2018 Volume 2018:10 Pages 493—501


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Elie Al-Chaer

Kristiina Rönö,1 Beata Stach-Lempinen,2 Johan Gunnar Eriksson,3,4 Maritta Pöyhönen-Alho,1 Miira Marjuska Klemetti,1,2,5 Risto Paavo Roine,6,7 Emilia Huvinen,1 Sture Andersson,8 Hannele Laivuori,6,9–11 Anita Valkama,3,4 Jelena Meinilä,3,4 Hannu Kautiainen,3,12 Aila Tiitinen,1 Saila Birgitta Koivusalo1

1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital, Women’s Hospital, Helsinki, Finland; 2Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, South Karelia Central Hospital, Lappeenranta, Finland; 3Department of General Practice and Primary Health Care, University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki, Finland; 4Public Health Research Program, Folkhälsan Research Center, Helsinki, Finland; 5Medical and Clinical Genetics, University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki, Finland; 6Department of Health and Social Management, Research Centre for Comparative Effectiveness and Patient Safety, University of Eastern Finland and Kuopio University Hospital, Kuopio, Finland; 7Group Administration, University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki, Finland; 8University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital, Children’s Hospital, Pediatric Research Center, Helsinki, Finland; 9Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland; 10Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Faculty of Medicine and Life Sciences, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland; 11Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland; 12Department of General Practice and Primary Health Care, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland

Purpose: Lifestyle intervention studies performed during pregnancy have shown inconsistent results in relation to prevention of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). Therefore, the aim of this study was to assess the effect of an intervention initiated already before pregnancy in prevention of GDM in high-risk women.
Patients and methods: A randomized controlled trial was conducted in four Finnish maternity hospitals between the years 2008 and 2014. Altogether 228 high-risk women planning pregnancy were randomized to an intervention (n=116) or a control group (n=112). The risk factors were body mass index ≥30 kg/m2 (n=46), prior GDM (n=120), or both (n=62), without manifest diabetes at study inclusion. Trained study nurses provided individualized lifestyle counseling every 3 months in addition to a group session with a dietician. The control group received standard antenatal care. GDM was defined as one or more pathological glucose values in a 75 g 2-hour oral glucose tolerance test, performed between 12 and 16 weeks of gestation and if normal repeated between 24 and 28 weeks of gestation.
Results: Within 12 months, 67% of the women (n=72) in the intervention group and 63% of the women (n=71) in the control group (p=0.84) became pregnant. The cumulative incidence of GDM among the women available for the final analyses was 60% (n=39/65) in the intervention group and 54% (n=34/63) in the control group (p=0.49). GDM was diagnosed already before 20 weeks of gestation in 60% (n=44/73) of the cases.
Conclusion: The preconceptional lifestyle intervention applied in the present study did not reduce the incidence of GDM.

Keywords: preconception, pregnancy, obesity, nutrition, physical activity

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