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Hypertens Pregnancy. 2015 Feb;34(1):1-16. doi: 10.3109/10641955.2014.946616. Epub 2014 Aug 14.

Physical activity, sedentary behavior and risk of hypertensive disorders of pregnancy in Hispanic women.

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  • 1Division of Biostatistics & Epidemiology, Department of Public Health, School of Public Health & Health Sciences, University of Massachusetts , Amherst, MA , USA .



Prior studies of the association between physical activity and hypertensive disorders of pregnancy have been conflicting; the majority focused on leisure-time activity only, did not use physical activity questionnaires validated for pregnancy, and were conducted in primarily non-Hispanic white populations.


We prospectively evaluated this association among 1240 Hispanic women in Proyecto Buena Salud. The Pregnancy Physical Activity Questionnaire, validated for use in pregnancy, was used to assess pre- and early pregnancy sports/exercise, household/caregiving, occupational and transportation activity. Diagnoses of hypertensive disorders of pregnancy were based on medical record abstraction and confirmed by the study obstetrician.


A total of 49 women (4.0%) were diagnosed with a hypertensive disorder of pregnancy, including 32 women (2.6%) with pre-eclampsia. In age-adjusted analyses, high levels of early pregnancy household/caregiving activity were associated with reduced risk of total hypertensive disorders (OR = 0.4, 95% CI 0.1-0.9) and pre-eclampsia (OR = 0.3, 95% CI 0.1-0.9) relative to low levels; however, these findings were no longer statistically significant in multivariable models. Pre-pregnancy activity and pattern of activity from pre- to early-pregnancy were not significantly associated with risk. Finally, sedentary behavior was not significantly associated with hypertensive disorders.


Findings from this prospective study of Hispanic women were consistent with those of prior prospective cohorts indicating that physical activity prior to and during early pregnancy does not significantly reduce risk of hypertensive disorders of pregnancy.


Exercise; Gestational hypertension; Latina; Pregnancy; Prospective

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