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Physical fitness, serum relaxin levels and duration of gestation
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Family Medicine and Preventive Medicine.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Family Medicine and Preventive Medicine.
2015 (English)In: BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, ISSN 1471-2393, E-ISSN 1471-2393, Vol. 15, 168Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Women are recommended to perform regular exercise during pregnancy but the impact of physical fitness on duration of gestation including miscarriage is inconsistent. In addition, an increased risk of miscarriage in early pregnancy among women with higher levels of physical activities has been noted. Previous studies have mostly used an epidemiologic method. Larger studies using careful measurement of physical fitness are needed. Besides physical fitness, elevated maternal circulating levels of the hormone relaxin have been associated with decreased duration of gestation.

Methods: A prospective cohort including 20 women with miscarriage and 460 women with spontaneous start of labour, recruited from maternal health care centres in central Sweden, were examined regarding estimated absolute peak oxygen uptake (V̇O2 peak, est..) by cycle ergometer test, and maternal circulating relaxin levels in early pregnancy.

Results: Women with miscarriage displayed the highest level of absolute V̇O2 peak, est. (2.61 l/min) and the lowest serum relaxin levels (640 ng/l). Among women with spontaneous start of labour, the mean absolute V̇Opeak, est. increased successively from the lowest level (2.31 l/min) among those with preterm birth (n=28), to 2.49 l/min among women with post term birth (n=31). An opposite trend was shown regarding serum relaxin levels from women with miscarriage to those with post term birth. Serum relaxin concentrations, but not absolute V̇O2 peak, est. was significantly and independently associated with duration of gestation in women with miscarriages, and absolute V̇O2 peak, est., age and multiple pregnancy were independently associated with duration of gestation in women with spontaneous start of labour.

Conclusions: Physical fitness appears to be a protective factor of established pregnancies and not significantly involved in the risk of early miscarriage. Additional studies are needed to more clearly define the role of relaxin in miscarriage.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 15, 168
Keyword [en]
Duration of gestation, pregnancy, physical fitness, relaxin
National Category
Clinical Medicine Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-203629DOI: 10.1186/s12884-015-0607-zISI: 000359432200001PubMedID: 26272327OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-203629DiVA: diva2:637101
Available from: 2013-07-16 Created: 2013-07-16 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Physical Fitness and Pregnancy
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Physical Fitness and Pregnancy
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Objectives To assess physical fitness in pregnancy and to evaluate its effect on perceived health, back pain, blood pressure and duration of gestation. Also, to evaluate the effect of serum relaxin levels on blood pressure and duration of gestation.

Material and methods A prospective cohort of 520 pregnant women were examined in early pregnancy and five months postpartum with regard to socio-demographic characteristics and estimated peak oxygen uptake (V̇O2 peak, est.). Serum concentrations of relaxin were carried out in early pregnancy. Physical exercise, possible back pain and blood pressure were measured repeatedly throughout pregnancy.

Results Absolute V̇O2 peak, est. in early pregnancy was positively correlated to perceived health, which was lower during than after pregnancy. The average absolute V̇O2 peak, est. in early pregnancy of 2.4 l/minute was 0.02 l/minute less than the V̇O2 peak, est. postpartum, while regular physical exercise decreased throughout pregnancy. Absolute V̇O2 peak, est. in early pregnancy was not associated to the incidence of any low back pain location in pregnancy or postpartum, but inversely to intensity of back pain and diastolic blood pressure and positively with duration of gestation. Elevated serum relaxin levels were associated with decreased diastolic blood pressure and higher duration of gestation among women with miscarriage.

Conclusions Perceived health, diastolic blood pressure and duration of gestation were positively affected by physical fitness while no effect was shown on the incidence of back pain. The effect of physical fitness on duration of gestation and diastolic blood pressure might have clinical implications as well as the increased serum relaxin levels on miscarriages.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2013. 61 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Medicine, ISSN 1651-6206 ; 913
Keyword
Physical fitness, oxygen uptake, pregnancy, back pain, blood pressure, duration of gestation, relaxin, cycle ergometer test, physical exercise, perceived health
National Category
Family Medicine
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-203630 (URN)978-91-554-8699-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2013-09-06, Rudbecksalen, Dag Hammarskjölds väg 20, Uppsala, 13:15 (Swedish)
Supervisors
Available from: 2013-08-15 Created: 2013-07-16 Last updated: 2014-01-07Bibliographically approved

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