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Am J Public Health. 2012 Dec;102(12):2330-5. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2012.300791. Epub 2012 Oct 18.

Pregnancy as a risk factor for ambulatory limitation in later life.

Author information

1
Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs and the Population Research Center, University of Texas, Austin, TX 78713-8925, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

We investigated the relationship between the number of times a woman has been pregnant and walking difficulty in later life.

METHODS:

With data from the Hispanic Established Populations for Epidemiologic Studies of the Elderly, a representative population-based cohort of Mexican Americans aged 65 years and older residing in 5 Southwestern states, we measured walking difficulty using 2 items from the performance-oriented mobility assessments: the timed walk and seated chair rise.

RESULTS:

We observed significantly higher rates of ambulatory limitation among women with 6 or more pregnancies than among women with 4 or fewer pregnancies: 44.9% and 27.0%, respectively, were unable to perform or performed poorly in the seated chair rise and timed walk. Ordinal logistic regression models show that gravidity predicts level of performance in both mobility tasks and that higher gravidity is associated with worse performance, even after adjustment for both age and chronic disease.

CONCLUSIONS:

Gravidity is a risk factor for ambulatory limitation in old age. A life course approach to reproduction in public health research and practice is warranted.

PMID:
23078483
PMCID:
PMC3519336
DOI:
10.2105/AJPH.2012.300791
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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