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Being sedentary in early pregnancy may predispose diabetic women to pre-eclampsia

13 May 2020

Sedentary behaviour in early pregnancy among women with diabetes may lead to the development of pre-eclampsia (PE), as reported in a study.

The study included 189 women with pre-existing diabetes (type 1, n=110; type 2, n=79), among whom 23 (12 percent) developed PE. Women in the PE vs non-PE group had higher diastolic office blood pressure (mean, 82 vs 77 mm Hg; p=0.004) and were more often nulliparous (91 percent vs 52 percent; p<0.001), whereas diabetes type and HbA1c levels were similar.

In early pregnancy (median, 10 weeks), total physical activity was comparable in the PE and non-PE group (148 vs 153 MET-h/week; p=0.97), but the former had a significantly higher level of sedentary behaviour (15 vs 7 MET-h/week; p=0.04).

Total physical activity remained similar between the two groups at 21 weeks (122 vs 140 MET-h/week; p=0.44) and at 36 weeks (74 vs 103 MET-h/week; p=0.12). On the other hand, sedentary behaviour was still higher in the PE group at both time points (week 21: 18 vs 7 MET-h/week; p=0.007; week 36: 16 vs 7 MET-h/week; p=0.06).

Univariate logistic regression analysis revealed PE to be positively associated with nulliparity (odds ratio [OR], 9.77; p=0.003), diastolic office blood pressure at week 10 (OR, 1.08; p=0.006) and sedentary behavior in early pregnancy (OR, 1.04; p=0.03). In multivariable regression models, the association between sedentary behavior and PE was of a similar magnitude but attenuated (OR, 1.03; p=0.13).

Larger studies are required to assess sedentary behaviour as a possible modifiable risk factor for PE in diabetic women, researchers said.

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