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 Health  Vol.8 No.2 , January 2016
A Case-Control Study on Leisure Time Physical Activity (LTPA) during the Last Three Months of Pregnancy and Foetal Outcomes in Italy
Abstract: The association between Leisure Time Physical Activity (LTPA) during pregnancy and foetal outcomes has been extensively investigated. However, epidemiological studies specifically referred to LPTA in the last months of pregnancy are scarce. We evaluated the association between LPTA and the risk of both preterm delivery and small for gestational age (SGA) during the last three months of pregnancy in Italy. A nationwide case-control study was performed in nine Italian cities. A total of 299 preterm delivery, 364 SGA and 855 controls were enrolled in the study. A self-administered questionnaire was used to assess socio-demographic variables, medical and reproductive history, life- habits and LTPA referred to the last three months of pregnancy. Univariate and multivariate regression analyses were performed in order to estimate Odds ratios and 95% CI. LTPA during the last three months of pregnancy decreases the risk of preterm delivery (adjusted OR = 0.56; 95% CI 0.39 - 0.79). Among the different types of physical activity, walking, the most frequently referred activity, appears significantly protective against preterm delivery (adjusted OR = 0.53; 95% CI 0.36 - 0.81). Moreover, a small protective effect of walking was evidenced against SGA (adjusted OR = 0.72; 95% CI 0.51 - 1.00). In conclusion, a mild physical activity such as walking in the last three months of pregnancy seems to reduce the risk of preterm delivery and, at a lesser extent, of SGA, confirming the beneficial effects of physical activity along the whole pregnancy.
Cite this paper: Fantuzzi, G. , Righi, E. and Aggazzotti, G. (2016) A Case-Control Study on Leisure Time Physical Activity (LTPA) during the Last Three Months of Pregnancy and Foetal Outcomes in Italy. Health, 8, 133-143. doi: 10.4236/health.2016.82016.
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