The association between gestational diabetes mellitus and recreational physical activity
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Objective. To investigate the association of recreational physical activity before and during pregnancy with Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM). Methods. A cross-sectional study was performed using data from the Pregnancy Risk Assessment and Monitoring System (PRAMS). Data were collected from 2004-2005 from Colorado, Maryland, Maine, North Carolina, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington. Level of self-reported physical activity was assessed for the three months before pregnancy and the last three months of pregnancy. The study population included 18,839 women, among whom there were 1,592 (8.4%) self-reported GDM cases and 17,247 non-GDM controls. Results. After adjustment for age, race, parity, number of prenatal care visits, income, drinking status, and pre-pregnancy body mass index, recreational physical activity in the three months before pregnancy was associated with a reduced risk of GDM, though the results were not significant. For the three months prior to pregnancy, compared to women reported exercising less than one day per week, women who exercised greater than 5 days per week showed a 31% lower odds of GDM (adjusted Odds Ratio (aOR): 0.69; 95% Confidence Interval (CI): 0.46,1.03). Women who exercised one to four days per week showed 7% lower odds of GDM (aOR: 0.93; 95%CI: 0.72,1.19) compared to women who exercised less than one day per week. Compared to women who reported exercising less than one day per week during the last three months of pregnancy, women who exercised greater than 5 days/week during the same period had a 3% reduced odds of GDM (aOR: 0.97; 95%CI: 0.57, 1.66); women who exercised 1-4 days/week showed a 14% reduced odds (aOR: 0.86; 95% CI: 0.62,1.21). Conclusion. These data are consistent with previous studies that demonstrated an inverse association between pre-pregnancy recreational physical activity and GDM.