Health promotion among women with an ethnic minority background and prior gestational diabetes (GDM)

​An explorative investigation of needs and possible solutions to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. The project is an adjunct to the Face It project.

Globally, it is estimated that 1 in 7 pregnancies are affected by hyperglycaemia. In Denmark, the prevalence of GDM has increased from 1.7 % in 2004 to 2.9 % in 2012. Studies have shown that women with certain ethnic backgrounds are at higher risk of developing GDM. Thus, the prevalence of GDM is 4.5 % among women in Denmark with an immigrant background. 
Although GDM is usually a transient form of diabetes, approximately half of women with prior GDM develop type 2 diabetes within the first 10 years after their diagnosis. As studies have shown that the risk of diabetes can be reduced, identifying feasible and effective interventions is highly warranted. 

However, previous studies have identified challenges associated with risk reduction of type 2 diabetes development, in this group. Studies from Sweden and Australia focusing on the experiences and perceptions of migrant women with GDM have highlighted barriers such as low risk awareness and limited knowledge of GDM.  Furthermore, their perception of what constitutes healthy diet- and exercise practices during pregnancy differed from the perception of local health care providers. 

This project focused on identifying health promoting initiatives specifically targeting women living in Denmark with ethnic minority background and a history of GDM. The project sought to identify their challenges and potential solutions and based on these findings, components for a tailored health promoting interventions were developed. The intervention components were developed through an iterative process based on qualitative empirical evidence in the form of interviews. 


The aim of the initiative was to investigate the challenges, needs and possible solutions to increase the health and quality of life, as well as reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life, among women with an ethnic minority background and prior GDM residing in the City of Copenhagen. 


Center for Diabetes (City of Copenhagen Municipality).

Responsible editor