Non-occupational physical activity during pregnancy and the risk of preterm birth: a meta-analysis of observational and interventional studies

A meta-analysis was conducted to evaluate the association between non-occupational physical activity (PA) during pregnancy and the risk of preterm birth (PTB). By searching PubMed and EMBASE from inception to August 20, 2016, 25 observational studies (18 cohorts and 7 case-controls) and 12 interventional studies were identified. Comparing the highest to the lowest category of leisure- time PA during pregnancy, the pooled relative risk (RR) of PTB was 0.83 [95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.74–0.93] for cohort studies and 0.60 (95% CI = 0.43–0.84) for case-control studies. No overall significant association was found between domestic or commuting PA and the risk of PTB. In addition, PA intervention did not indicate significant beneficial effect on the risk of PTB. Evidence from the observational studies suggested that leisure-time, but not domestic or commuting, PA during pregnancy was inversely associated with the risk of PTB. The findings were not supported by small-scale and short-term interventional studies. Further research with objective measurement on leisure-time PA is warranted.

Publication Date:
Mar 22 2017
Date Submitted:
Aug 10 2018
Scientific Reports
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 Record created 2018-08-10, last modified 2019-04-03

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