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Cardiorespiratory Fitness, Exercise Hemodynamics and Birth Outcomes: The Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) Study

Determine associations of cardiorespiratory fitness, exercise systolic blood pressure (SBP) and heart rate recovery (HRR) following a maximal exercise test performed years preceding pregnancy with odds of preterm birth (PTB; <37 weeks' gestation) and small for gestational age (SGA; birthweight <10th percentile) delivery. Prospective, longitudinal. Multi-site, observational cohort study initially consisting of 2787 black and white women aged 18-30 at baseline (1985-86) and followed for 25 years (Y25; 2010-2011). 768 nulliparous women at baseline who reported ≥1 live birth by the Y25 exam. We used Poisson regression to determine associations of exposures with PTB/SGA. PTB and/or SGA births. Women with PTB (n = 143) and/or SGA (n = 88) were younger, had completed fewer years of education and were more likely to be black versus women without PTB/SGA (n = 546). Women with PTB/SGA had lower fitness (501 ± 9 versus 535 ± 6 seconds, P < 0.002) and higher submaximal SBP than women without PTB/SGA (144 ± 1 versus 142 ± 1 mmHg, P < 0.04). After adjustment, no exercise test variables were associated with PTB/SGA, though the association with HRR and submaximal SBP approached significance in the subset of women who completed the exercise test <5 years before the index birth. Neither fitness nor haemodynamic responses to exercise a median of 5 years preceding pregnancy, were associated with PTB/SGA. These findings indicate excess likelihood of PTB/SGA is not detectable by low fitness or exercise haemodynamic responses 5 years preceding pregnancy, but exercise testing, especially HRR and submaximal SBP, may be more useful when conducted closer to the onset of pregnancy. Exercise testing conducted >5 years before pregnancy may not detect women likely to have PTB/SGA.

Authors: Lane-Cordova AD; Carnethon MR; Catov JM; Montag S; Lewis CE; Schreiner PJ; Dude A; Sternfeld B; Badon SE; Greenland P; Gunderson EP

BJOG. 2018 Aug;125(9):1127-1134. Epub 2018-03-02.

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