OBJECTIVES: To identify if maternal educational attainment is a prognostic factor for gestational weight gain (GWG), and to determine the differential effects of lifestyle interventions (diet based, physical activity based or mixed approach) on GWG, stratified by educational attainment.
DESIGN: Individual participant data meta-analysis using the previously established International Weight Management in Pregnancy (i-WIP) Collaborative Group database (https://iwipgroup.wixsite.com/collaboration). Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analysis of Individual Participant Data Statement guidelines were followed.
DATA SOURCES: Major electronic databases, from inception to February 2017.
ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA: Randomised controlled trials on diet and physical activity-based interventions in pregnancy. Maternal educational attainment was required for inclusion and was categorised as higher education (≥tertiary) or lower education (≤secondary).
RISK OF BIAS: Cochrane risk of bias tool was used.
DATA SYNTHESIS: Principle measures of effect were OR and regression coefficient.
RESULTS: Of the 36 randomised controlled trials in the i-WIP database, 21 trials and 5183 pregnant women were included. Women with lower educational attainment had an increased risk of excessive (OR 1.182; 95% CI 1.008 to 1.385, p =0.039) and inadequate weight gain (OR 1.284; 95% CI 1.045 to 1.577, p =0.017). Among women with lower education, diet basedinterventions reduced risk of excessive weight gain (OR 0.515; 95% CI 0.339 to 0.785, p = 0.002) and inadequate weight gain (OR 0.504; 95% CI 0.288 to 0.884, p=0.017), and reduced kg/week gain (B -0.055; 95% CI -0.098 to -0.012, p=0.012). Mixed interventions reduced risk of excessive weight gain for women with lower education (OR 0.735; 95% CI 0.561 to 0.963, p=0.026). Among women with high education, diet based interventions reduced risk of excessive weight gain (OR 0.609; 95% CI 0.437 to 0.849, p=0.003), and mixed interventions reduced kg/week gain (B -0.053; 95% CI -0.069 to -0.037,p<0.001). Physical activity based interventions did not impact GWG when stratified by education.
CONCLUSIONS: Pregnant women with lower education are at an increased risk of excessive and inadequate GWG. Diet based interventions seem the most appropriate choice for these women, and additional support through mixed interventions may also be beneficial.