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Hypertension. 2012 Nov;60(5):1104-9. doi: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.112.194050. Epub 2012 Oct 8.

Impact of exercise training on preeclampsia: potential preventive mechanisms.

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  • 1Research Centre, Centre Hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada


Preeclampsia is characterized by hypertension and de novo proteinuria after 20 weeks of pregnancy. It is the leading cause of perinatal morbidity and mortality in the developed world, and to date, the only means of treating the disease is by inducing delivery. Many studies have shown the benefits of exercise training on normal pregnancy. Conversely, because the impact of exercise on reducing the risk of preeclampsia has long been debated, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has yet to support the prescription of exercise training to women at risk of developing the disease. There is, however, a significant body of evidence in support of the protective role of exercise training against preeclampsia. A recent animal study demonstrated that many preeclampsia features can be eliminated with prenatal followed by gestational exercise training. Hence, the present article reviews the literature on the impact of exercise training on preeclampsia risk, as well as the mechanisms that may be involved.

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