Found less protection from exercise than previous studies
The second study calculated the risk for pre-eclampsia if the pregnant woman was physically active during pregnancy. Information from 59 573 women in MoBa was studied. 1 in 4 reported that they were not physically active, whilst just under 1 in 10 women (7 percent) reported that they had taken part in more than 25 episodes of physical activity every month in the beginning of pregnancy.
By comparing these two groups, it was found that women who exercised had a 20 percent lower risk for pre-eclampsia. This was particularly relevant for women with BMI (Body Mass Index) under 25. Among women with BMI over 30, this study does not show any protection against pre-eclampsia despite physical activity.
Previous studies have shown significant exercise protection from a 30 80 percent lower risk for pre-eclampsia among physically active pregnant women. This also applied to women with a BMI over 30.
The new study from MoBa emphasises that more research is needed before a conclusion on the link between physical activity in pregnancy and pre-eclampsia can be drawn.
In both studies, a range of factors have been taken into account that may affect results, e.g. smoking, age, mother's weight, education, infertility treatment, time between abortion(s) and next birth and change of partner.
What is pre-eclampsia?
Pre-eclampsia is a complication that affects 3-5 % of all pregnant women. The risk for pre-eclampsia is greatest for first-time mothers. For women who have previously given birth to a child the risk is approximately halved. It is unknown why previous childbirth protects against pre-eclampsia in subsequen
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Norwegian Institute of Public Health