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The Effect of Exercise During Pregnancy on Maternal and Offspring Vascular Outcomes: A Pilot Study

Brislane, Á, Jones, H, Holder, SM, Lowe, D and Hopkins, ND The Effect of Exercise During Pregnancy on Maternal and Offspring Vascular Outcomes: A Pilot Study. Reproductive Sciences. ISSN 1933-7205 (Accepted)

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Abstract

Purpose: The aim of this pilot study is to obtain estimates for the change in maternal cerebrovascular (primary) and offspring vascular structure (secondary) during healthy pregnancy that includes structured exercise.
Methods: Eighteen pregnant women self-assigned to a moderate-intensity aerobic exercise intervention or a control group. Maternal cerebral blood flow (CBF) at the middle cerebral artery, cerebro- and peripheral-vascular function were assessed at the end of each trimester. Offspring carotid artery intima-media thickness (IMT) was measured within 12-weeks of birth.
Results: For exploratory purposes, we performed statistical analysis to provide estimates of the change for primary and secondary outcome variables. Maternal CBF reduced (-8 cm/s-1 [-14 to -2]) with evidence of change to cerebral autoregulation (normalised gain: 0.12 %cm s-1 %.mmHg-1mm Hg/% [-0.18 to 0.40]) during pregnancy. Offspring carotid IMT was smaller in the exercise group (-0.04mm [-0.12-0.03]) compared to controls. Based upon this data, a sample size of 33 and 57 in each group are required for low frequency normalised gain and offspring IMT respectively. This would provide 90% power to detect statistically significant (P<0.05) between group differences in a randomised controlled trial.
Conclusion: CBF is reduced in pregnancy, possibly due to reduced vascular resistance and altered maternal cerebral autoregulation. Maternal exercise had negligible effects on cerebrovascular adaptation to pregnancy, but we observed lower offspring carotid artery wall thickness following maternal exercise. Our directional findings and sample size estimations should be explored in a fully powered randomised control trial. Clinical trial registration: The trial was registered on March 14th at https://register.clinicaltrials.gov (NCT03079258). Participant enrolment began on 3rd April 2016.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1114 Paediatrics and Reproductive Medicine
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC1200 Sports Medicine
R Medicine > RG Gynecology and obstetrics
Divisions: Sport & Exercise Sciences
Publisher: Springer
Date Deposited: 21 Aug 2020 08:39
Last Modified: 21 Aug 2020 08:45
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/13526

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