Finnish Gestational Diabetes (FinnGeDi) follow-up study

The purpose of the Finnish Gestational Diabetes (FinnGeDi) clinical follow-up study is to assess the health status of women with previous gestational diabetes and controls 10–15 years after delivery, with a special focus on non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and cardiometabolic health.

Project information

Project duration


Funded by

Other Finnish

Project funder

Diabetes Research Foundation, Yrjö Jahnsson Foundation, Suorsa Foundation, Otto A. Malm Foundation

Project coordinator

University of Oulu

Contact information

Project leader

  • Marja Vääräsmäki

Contact person

Project description

About the study

Pregnancy­ offers a unique window of opportunity to understand the future health trajectories of women. Gestational diabetes (GDM) is a common complication of pregnancy, affecting 10−30% of all pregnancies globally. Apart from the short-term adverse effects, GDM has long-term adverse health outcomes for both the mother and the child.

We are conducting a clinical follow-up study of the prospectively collected FinnGeDi cohort to explore how the occurrence of GDM during pregnancy can serve as a predictive window into women's future cardiometabolic health.

Study objectives

The purpose of the study is to assess the risk factors of cardiometabolic disease and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in women with previous GDM, and to identify the risk profile of women who have the highest risk for future adverse health outcomes.

We also aim to recognize the protective lifestyle factors in these women which could serve as potential targets for promotion of health and well-being.


A clinical follow-up study is being carried out 10–15 years after the index pregnancy among a subset of women from the FinnGeDi cohort. The study population consists of 200 women with prior GDM and 200 women without history of GDM currently residing in Oulu region.

FinnGeDi is a collaboration between the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) and the University of Oulu. It is a prospective cohort consisting of 1146 women with GDM and 1066 women without GDM, recruited between February 2009 and December 2012. The FinnGeDi cohort has obstetric, perinatal, and neonatal data along with data of family members, participants’ medical history, lifestyle and socioeconomic data obtained from the questionnaires, medical records and the Finnish Medical Birth Register.

Follow-up data collection includes clinical and anthropometric measurements, liver imaging studies (MRI), validated questionnaires on food intake, physical activity, health-related quality of life, mental health and sleep, tests on different aspects of physical activity and fitness and biological samples. A comprehensive dental examination is also carried out.


Understanding the specific cardiometabolic and NAFLD risk factors will help in the early identification of high-risk women. This could help in targeted interventions and risk screening/modification strategies. Early intervention to reduce cardiometabolic risk in young women may offer the opportunity to improve the future health of both the mother and the child, as well as the whole family.