Activity may ward off preeclampsia for lean women

By Anne Harding

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Being physically active during pregnancy may help prevent a serious complication called preeclampsia, but the effect is small, and only seems to apply to women who are not obese, new research from Norway shows.

“The main risk factor for preeclampsia is actually a high body mass index, so reducing weight before starting to think about pregnancy is in general a very good idea,” lead investigator Dr. Per Magnus of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health in Oslo, told Reuters Health. Trimming down also reduces a woman’s risk of developing diabetes in pregnancy and of having a very high birthweight baby, “which is in itself a kind of complication,” he added.

In preeclampsia, a woman develops high blood pressure and begins excreting protein in her urine. It occurs in up to 8 percent of pregnancies, and puts a woman at risk of stroke, seizures, premature delivery, and other complications. Past studies, in which women who developed preeclampsia were compared with women without preeclampsia, suggested that recreational physical activity could help prevent the condition.

To further investigate, Magnus and his team followed 59,573 women in the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study, who gave birth to a single infant between 1999 and 2006, to see if physical activity during pregnancy influenced preeclampsia risk.

Between 14 and 22 weeks of pregnancy, the women reported how frequently they engaged in recreational physical activity, with 24 percent reporting no such activity at all.

Their findings are reported in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

The 7 percent of women who were physically active more than 25 times a month were 21 percent less likely than the inactive women to develop preeclampsia.

Using the participant’s body mass index, the relationship was strongest in women who were not overweight, and no relationship was seen in women who were obese.

The study wasn’t designed to look at why exercise may or may not help prevent preeclampsia. However, Magnus and his team suggest that early development of the placenta might be a key factor in the condition. Exercise may promote healthy placenta development among lean women, but it may be stressful for women who are heavier.

Magnus noted that it is still possible that lean women who exercise may have some other characteristic that prevents them from developing preeclampsia.

“Reducing weight is the best preventive measure, much better than being physically active, but then of course physically active is one way of losing weight,” Magnus said.

SOURCE: American Journal of Epidemiology, October 15, 2008.

Source

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Related Posts:


NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Pre-pregnancy physical activity may not influence whether or not a woman will have persistent low back or pelvic pain after pregnancy, suggest researchers from Sweden. However, about half of the women with persistent lower back or pelvic pain 6 months after delivery reported similar levels of leisure-time physical activity as did

Full Post: Pre-pregnancy exercise may not prevent back pain
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

By Amy Norton NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Childhood obesity is a growing problem, and new research suggests that physical activity levels among youngsters already begin a decline before they start school. In a study of 244 New Zealand children, researchers found that the children’s daily exercise levels generally declined between the ages of 3 and 5,

Full Post: Physical activity declines over preschool years
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - In overweight or obese women, physical activity, even at light or moderate intensities, lowers the risk of cancer of the lining of the uterus (endometrial cancer), according to findings from the American Cancer Society’s prospective Cancer Prevention Study II Nutrition Cohort study. Dr. Alpa V. Patel and colleagues at the American

Full Post: Exercise may cut uterine cancer risk in heavy women
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

By Tan Ee Lyn CHENNAI, India (Reuters) - Up to 15 percent of pregnant women in India are developing diabetes, raising the risk of their children developing the disease, said experts on Sunday, who blamed factors including malnutrition. Experts at a diabetes summit in Chennai in southern India said genetics, a sedentary lifestyle, as well as women

Full Post: Pregnant Indians risk passing diabetes to babies
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Regular exercise can reduce a woman’s risk of cancer, but the benefits may slip away if she gets too little sleep, U.S. researchers said on Monday. The study involving 5,968 women in Maryland confirmed previous findings that people who do regular physical activity are less likely to develop cancer. But when the

Full Post: Too little sleep tied to increased cancer risk

Site Navigation

Most Read

Search