Gestational diabetes is a common, transient disorder during pregnancy, affecting 1,700 pregnancies annually in Denmark. Gestational diabetes predisposes women and their offspring to a range of complications during pregnancy and in later life. Affected women have a high rate of gestational diabetes reoccurrence in subsequent pregnancies (~50%), and remain at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes and related conditions. Women with gestational diabetes often belong to socially disadvantaged groups, such as low socioeconomic or ethnic minority groups, making them particularly vulnerable to non-engagement in health promotion behaviours.
Evidence from the Diabetes Prevention Program suggests that intensive lifestyle intervention can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes among women with prior gestational diabetes. However, sustainable changes in such behaviours are difficult and many women do not follow lifestyle recommendations after delivery. Understanding and addressing the barriers to health promoting behaviours among these women is thus a key challenge.
We hypothesise that a health promotion intervention that focuses on enhancing motivation, health literacy, action competences and social involvement in women with prior gestational diabetes and their families, and the development of a new care pathway at the health system level, will lead to cost-effective, sustained improvements in behaviour (diet, physical activity and breastfeeding), wellbeing, and continuity of care. This will act to increase quality of life and reduce type 2 diabetes risk, recurrent gestational diabetes and other non-communicable diseases.
The FACE-IT research programme aims to increase quality of life and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes among women with prior gestational diabetes and their families.
- Prof. Peter Damm, Department of Obstetrics, Center for Pregnant Women with Diabetes, Rigshospitalet.
- Prof. Per Ovesen, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Center for Pregnant Women with Diabetes, Aarhus University Hospital.
- Dr. Dorte Møller Jensen, Department of Endocrinology, Center for Pregnant Women with Diabetes, Odense University Hospital.
- Prof. Jørgen T. Lauridsen, Centre for Health Economics Research, University of Southern Denmark.
- Martha Emneus, Applied Economics and Health Research Aps.
- Associate Professor Viola Burau, Department of Public Health, Aarhus University.
- Prof. Jette Kolding Kristensen, Department of Clinical Medicine, Aalborg University.
- The municipalities of Aarhus, Copenhagen and Odense.