Walking away from gestational diabetes

West MidlandsMetabolic and Endocrine, Reproductive Health and Childbirth
Start Date: 1 Jan 2014

Background and aim

Women with gestational diabetes are seven times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes within 10 years. The number of cases is growing because of unhealthy lifestyles. The aim of this project is to develop and implement lifestyle education programmes that meet social and cultural needs.


We will ask local women to help us develop face-to-face and online education programmes, including women of South Asian origin.


We will identify women with a diagnosis of gestational diabetes 6-36 months ago using hospital databases. Two-hundred-and-fifty volunteers will be randomly allocated to usual care or intervention groups for 12 months. The usual care group will receive usual care plus an information leaflet about healthy lifestyle choices after childbirth. The intervention group will receive usual care plus a referral to the education programmes. In light of feedback we have already received from patients, we will reimburse travel expenses, reimburse childcare expenses, and provide crèches.

Measure of success

Physical activity is the most important measure in this study and participants will wear a physical activity monitor for seven days before, during and after the study. The education programmes will be deemed successful if physical activity increases by around 30 minutes per day.
Impact: An increase in physical activity of around 30 minutes per day is sufficient to reduce type 2 diabetes risk by 30-50%, as part of a healthy lifestyle. We will work with local stakeholders during the study to ensure it is widely implemented if it is successful.

Dr Ponnusamy Saravanan