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The Impact of a Lifestyle Intervention on Postpartum Weight Retention Among At-Risk Hispanic Women

      Introduction

      This study assesses the impact of a culturally modified, motivationally targeted, individually tailored intervention on postpartum weight retention among Hispanic women with abnormal glucose tolerance during pregnancy.

      Methods

      Estudio Parto (Project Aiming to Reduce Type twO diabetes) was an RCT conducted in Western Massachusetts (collected 2013‒2017, analyzed 2018–2020). Hispanic women with blood glucose ≥140 mg/dL (7.77 mmol/L) on routine nonfasting oral glucose challenge test were randomized to a Lifestyle Intervention (n=100) focusing on healthy exercise and diet or to a comparison Health and Wellness Intervention (n=104) with no mention of exercise or diet behavior changes. The primary outcome was change in weight, calculated as the difference between prepregnancy weight and 6-week, 6-month, and 12-month postpartum weight. The secondary outcome was achievement of weight reduction to prepregnancy weight if prepregnancy BMI was normal, or a 5% reduction if prepregnancy BMI was overweight/obese.

      Results

      In intent-to-treat analyses, there were no significant differences in weight change pattern between the intervention arms across all follow-up timepoints (β=0.03, 95% CI= −3.38, 3.45). However, at 12 months postpartum, women in the Lifestyle Intervention arm had a statistically significant 2.5-fold higher odds of meeting the secondary weight reduction outcome (OR=2.52, 95% CI=1.09, 5.82) than women in the Health and Wellness arm. Regardless of intervention arm, women who reported higher levels of postpartum sports/exercise had a greater decrease in weight (β= −2.39, 95% CI= −4.66, −0.13, p=0.04) than women reporting lower levels.

      Conclusions

      In this randomized trial among Hispanic women, no significant overall differences in weight change pattern between intervention arms were observed. Higher levels of self-reported physical activity were associated with greater weight loss in both arms.
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