Exercise and pregnancy outcome among urban, low-income, black women

Suezanne T. Orr, Sherman A. James, Joseph Garry, Cheryl B. Prince, Edward R. Newton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Few studies have focused on the association between maternal exercise and outcomes of pregnancy among low-income, Black women. The analysis reported here examines the associations between exercise before and during pregnancy and pregnancy outcomes of preterm birth and low birth weight among a sample of urban, low-income, Black women. Women (N=922) were enrolled in this prospective cohort study during their first prenatal visit at five hospital-based prenatal clinics located in Baltimore City, Maryland, from 1993 to 1995. A questionnaire was used to ask women about their participation in strenuous and nonstrenuous exercise before and during pregnancy. Nearly two thirds of the women reported participating in exercise during pregnancy; most women participated in nonstrenuous exercise (56%). The risks of both low birth weight (12.2%) and preterm birth (13.7%) were not significantly different whether women reported exercising or not, either before or during pregnancy. For women who were considered high risk because of chronic diseases or previous poor pregnancy outcome, stratified analysis indicated no significant difference in preterm birth or low birth weight between those who exercised and those who did not. Our analysis failed to identify any association between exercise and pregnancy outcomes among low-income, urban, Black women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)933-937
Number of pages5
JournalEthnicity and Disease
Issue number4
StatePublished - Sep 2006


  • Exercise
  • Low birth weight
  • Pregnancy
  • Preterm birth


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