Physical activity and maternal-fetal circulation measured by Doppler ultrasound

N. C. Nguyen, K. R. Evenson, D. A. Savitz, H. Chu, J. M. Thorp, J. L. Daniels

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Objective:To examine the association of physical activity on maternal-fetal circulation measured by uterine and umbilical artery Doppler flow velocimetry waveforms.Study Design:Participants included 781 pregnant women with Doppler ultrasounds of the uterine and umbilical artery and who self-reported past week physical activity. Linear and generalized estimating equation regression models were used to examine these associations.Result:Moderate-to-vigorous total and recreational activity were associated with higher uterine artery pulsatility index (PI) and an increased risk of uterine artery notching as compared with reporting no total or recreational physical activity, respectively. Moderate-to-vigorous work activity was associated with lower uterine artery PI and a reduced risk of uterine artery notching as compared with no work activity. No associations were identified with the umbilical circulation measured by the resistance index.Conclusion:In this epidemiologic study, recreational and work activity were associated with opposite effects on uterine artery PI and uterine artery notching, although associations were modest in magnitude.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-93
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Perinatology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was funded by the following grants: National Institutes of Health (NIH)/ National Institute of Child Health and Human Development #HD37584, NIH/General Clinical Research Center #RR00046 and NIH/National Cancer Institute #R01CA109804. Dr Nguyen was funded in part by a grant from the Vietnam Education Foundation (VEF). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH or VEF. The Pregnancy, Infection and Nutrition Study, along with the ancillary projects, is a joint effort of many investigators and staff members whose work is gratefully acknowledged.


  • Doppler flow velocimetry waveform
  • maternal-fetal blood flow
  • pre-eclampsia
  • pregnancy
  • recreational activity
  • work


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