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Strategies for diabetes prevention before and after pregnancy in women with GDM

Interventions for lifestyle modification promoting weight loss and pharmacotherapy interventions for improving insulin sensitivity have been shown to be effective in preventing or delaying the onset of type 2 diabetes (T2DM) in high risk populations. Women with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) are at high risk for T2DM, but only two trials have assessed the feasibility of diabetes prevention in this population. We present evidence supporting an intervention with lifestyle modification for women with GDM that would begin during pregnancy and continue through the postpartum period, as pharmacotherapy interventions may not be appropriate for pregnant women or women of reproductive age who could again become pregnant. Young women with GDM may not be aware of their diabetes risk and may perceive difficulty in changing behaviors. Thus, novel approaches will be necessary to translate the lifestyle modification programs previously proven effective among older women with impaired glucose tolerance to younger women with a recent history of GDM, particularly those with normal glucose tolerance postpartum. Understanding barriers to increasing physical activity and adopting a healthy diet and finding strategies for the successful integration of lifestyle modification programs into the busy schedules of women with young children remain priorities for future research.

Authors: Ferrara A; Ehrlich SF

Curr Diabetes Rev. 2011 Mar;7(2):75-83.

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