Exercise may decrease GDM risk in normal-weight women

  • Ming WK & al.
  • BMC Pregnancy Childbirth
  • 12 Nov 2018

  • curated by Elisabeth Aron, MD, MPH, FACOG
  • Clinical Essentials
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Takeaway

  • Exercise in normal-weight pregnant women may reduce risk for gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM).

Why this matters

  • Women with GDM are at risk for fetal demise, preterm birth, fetal macrosomia, polyhydramnios, and cesarean delivery (CD).
  • GDM may affect offspring because of transient and long-standing abnormalities in carbohydrate metabolism.
  • Exercise in normal-weight women during pregnancy may reduce risk of pregnancy complications.

Key results

  • Exercise during pregnancy reduced the occurrence of GDM in normal-weight women (using 2 different diagnostic criteria: risk ratio [RR], 0.58; P=.01; and RR, 0.60; P=.04).
  • Exercise was associated with decreased maternal weight gain (P<.01>
  • Exercise had no effect on gestational age at birth (P=.29), birth weight (P=.28), or CD risk (P=.21).

Study design

  • Systematic review and meta-analysis, studies published 1994-2017.
  • 8 randomized controlled trials were included in the final analysis (n=2981 pregnant women).
  • Funding: None disclosed.

Limitations

  • Diagnostic criteria for GDM varied among the 8 studies.
  • Intervention adherence may have varied because of differences in socioeconomic factors.
  • Method for effectively monitoring exercise rates is needed.

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