Faculty Member Article Makes Most Downloaded List For Journal

Faculty member SeonAe Yeo published an article in Hypertension in Pregnancy

Faculty member SeonAe Yeo published an article on exercise and preeclampsia risk in the journal Hypertension in Pregnancy. Her article is among the top-five downloaded publications from the journal's Web site.

Faculty member SeonAe Yeo published an article on exercise and preeclampsia risk in the journal Hypertension in Pregnancy. Her article is among the top-five downloaded publications from the journal's Web site.

last year entitled, “A Comparison of Walking Versus Stretching Exercises to Reduce the Incidence of Preeclampsia: A Randomized Clinical Trial.” The paper revealed that stretching may be effective at reducing a woman’s risk of developing preeclampsia during pregnancy.

The Journal released, today, the top five articles downloaded from its Web site over the last several years. For a limited time, the Journal is offering free access to these articles. To view Yeo article in its entirety, visit: http://informahealthcare.msgfocus.com/c/14dbpQeeKZSjxdaUvI.

SON Researcher Discovers Pregnant Women More Likely To Stretch Than Walk

Pregnant women who exercise by stretching are more likely to maintain their exercise activities until the end of pregnancy compared to women who walk for exercise, according to a SON study published in August issue of Research in Nursing & Health.

In a study of 124 women, most of whom were white, well educated and relatively affluent, SON associate professor SeonAe Yeo, PhD, RNC, FAAN, found that women who follow a regimen of stretching continue to exercise longer into their pregnancies.

Study participants were asked to adhere as closely as possible to 40-minute-a-day, five-times-a-week exercise schedule. The walking exercise involved moderate-intensity walking, i.e. walking to 55 percent to 69 percent of age-determined maximum heart rate. The stretching exercise included an instructional videotape of slow muscle movements with no aerobic or muscle resistance components.

These findings are secondary conclusions from a previous study focused on determining whether stretching is more effective than walking at reducing a woman’s risk of preeclampsia during pregnancy.

“Based on our results, we found that women who stretch for exercise during pregnancy have more favorable blood pressure changes throughout gestation, were more likely to stay within the recommended weight-gain limits, and they experienced less fluctuation in their resting heart rate during late pregnancy,” Yeo said. “With our original study looking at exercise’s effect on the risk of preeclampsia, these findings highlight the fact that the type of exercise also influences a woman’s likelihood of sticking with it to realize a protective benefit.”

The rate of adherence to the exercise routine was measured at 18 weeks, 28 weeks and 38 weeks. At each evaluation point, stretchers reported exercising more times per week than walkers. The length of time walkers spent exercising also declined from one evaluation to the next (36 minutes to 33 minutes to 31 minutes).

To read the entire study: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/117871052/issue

SON Study Shows Stretching May Reduce Preeclampsia Risk For Some

Stretching exercises may be effective at reducing the risk of preeclampsia for pregnant women who have already experienced the condition and who do not follow a workout routine, according to researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Nursing.

Preeclampsia, or pregnancy-induced hypertension, is a condition that affects up to 8 percent of pregnancies every year and is among the leading causes of maternal and fetal illness and death worldwide.

The finding is contrary to existing studies and literature that suggest that rigorous exercise is the most effective way to reduce the risk of preeclampsia, said SeonAe Yeo, Ph.D., an associate professor with a specialty in women’s health at the UNC School of Nursing and the study’s lead researcher.

Yeo will present the findings Thursday (May 29) at the annual meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine in Indianapolis, Ind. The results will be published in the spring issue of the journal Hypertension in Pregnancy.

Preeclampsia is characterized by a marked increase in blood pressure during pregnancy and may be accompanied by swelling and kidney problems. It is diagnosed when blood pressure readings taken twice in six hours read 140/90 or higher.

“These results seemingly contradict the conventional wisdom that walking is the best protection pregnant women have against developing preeclampsia,” Yeo said. “But for women who were not physically active before becoming pregnant and who have experienced preeclampsia with a previous pregnancy, that might not be the case.”

From November 2001 to July 2006, 79 women with a previous preeclampsia diagnosis and a sedentary lifestyle participated in this National Institute of Nursing Research-funded study. Women were randomly assigned to either the walking group (41 women) or the stretching group (38 women) during the 18th week of pregnancy.

The walking group was asked to exercise for 40 minutes five times a week at moderate intensity, following the program recommended by the Surgeon General and the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Stretchers were also asked to perform slow, non-aerobic muscle movements with a 40-minute video fives times a week. Frequency and duration of exercise decreased in both groups as the pregnancy progressed.

At the end of pregnancy, almost 15 percent of women in the walking group had developed preeclampsia. Less than 5 percent of the stretching group developed the condition. While the incidence of preeclampsia in the walking group was similar to that reported in high-risk pregnancies, the frequency among the stretching group was similar to rates seen among the general population.

“Clearly, walking does not have a harmful effect during pregnancy,” Yeo said. “But for women who are at high risk for preeclampsia, our results may suggest that stretching exercises may have a protective effect against the condition.”

Stretching could provide protection against preeclampsia because stretchers produced more transferrin than walkers did, Yeo said. Transferrin is a plasma protein that transports iron through the blood and protects against oxidative stress on the body.

Yeo said these results could help prenatal care providers recommend different exercise plans based on an individual pregnant woman’s needs and abilities. Following an active exercise plan is good, she said, but only if a pregnant woman is truly able to do it. For some who already have a risk of preeclampsia, stretching might be a better option.

Co-authors of the study include Sandra Davidge, Ph.D., the University of Alberta; David L. Ronis, Ph.D., the University of Michigan School of Nursing and Veteran Administration Hospital; Cathy L. Antonakos, Ph.D., the University of Michigan School of Nursing; Robert Hayashi, M.D., the University of Michigan; and Sharon O’Leary, M.D., St. Joseph Mercy Health Systems.


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