Prevention of gestational diabetes in pregnant women with obesity: protocol for a pilot randomised controlled trial

Ola F. Quotah, Glen Nishku, Jessamine Hunt, Paul T. Seed, Carolyn Gill, Anna Brockbank, Omoyele Fafowora, Ilektra Vasiloudi, Opeoluwa Olusoga, Ellie Cheek, Jannelle Phillips, Katarzyna G Nowak, Lucilla Poston, Sara White, Angela C. Flynn*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
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BACKGROUND: Obesity in pregnancy increases the risk of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) and associated adverse outcomes. Despite metabolic differences, all pregnant women with obesity are considered to have the same risk of developing GDM. Improved risk stratification is required to enable targeted intervention in women with obesity who would benefit the most. The aim of this study is to identify pregnant women with obesity at higher risk of developing GDM and, in a pilot randomised controlled trial (RCT), test feasibility and assess the efficacy of a lifestyle intervention and/or metformin to improve glycaemic control.

METHODS: Women aged 18 years or older with a singleton pregnancy and body mass index (BMI) ≥ 30kg/m2 will be recruited from one maternity unit in London, UK. The risk of GDM will be assessed using a multivariable GDM prediction model combining maternal age, mid-arm circumference, systolic blood pressure, glucose, triglycerides and HbA1c. Women identified at a higher risk of developing GDM will be randomly allocated to one of two intervention groups (lifestyle advice with or without metformin) or standard antenatal care. The primary feasibility outcomes are study recruitment, retention rate and intervention adherence and to collect information needed for the sample size calculation for the definitive trial. A process evaluation will assess the acceptability of study processes and procedures to women. Secondary patient-centred outcomes include a reduction in mean glucose/24h of 0.5mmol/l as assessed by continuous glucose monitoring and changes in a targeted maternal metabolome, dietary intake and physical activity. A sample of 60 high-risk women is required.

DISCUSSION: Early risk stratification of GDM in pregnant women with obesity and targeted intervention using lifestyle advice with or without metformin could improve glucose tolerance compared to standard antenatal care. The results from this feasibility study will inform a larger adequately powered RCT should the intervention show trends for potential effectiveness.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: This study has been approved by the NHS Research Ethics Committee (UK IRAS integrated research application system; reference 18/LO/1500). EudraCT number 2018-000003-16 .

Original languageEnglish
Article number70
Pages (from-to)70
Number of pages9
JournalPilot and Feasibility Studies
Issue number1
Early online date25 Mar 2022
Publication statusPublished - 25 Mar 2022


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