Accelerometry-Measured Physical Activity and Inflammation after Gestational Diabetes

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Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is associated with adverse metabolic outcomes after delivery. Physical activity practice improves the inflammatory profile; however, whether this association exists in women with prior GDM remains unknown. Our objective was to examine the cardiometabolic and inflammatory risk factors associated with accelerometer-based measures of physical activity in women with prior GDM.


Ninety-six women who had GDM between 2003 and 2010 were tested 2.9 ± 2.2 yr after delivery. The physical activity practice was measured with ActiGraph GT3X (ActiGraph™, Pensacola, FL) accelerometers worn ≥5 d, and the time spent weekly in moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) was derived. The waist circumference was measured and the inflammatory marker or cytokine concentrations were measured in fasting plasma by the xMAP® technology using the Bio-Plex 200 system. The lipid profile was also measured from fasting blood samples.


Only 31% of women accumulated at least 150 min of MVPA per week. No association was observed between the MVPA practice and any of the metabolic measurements in the whole group of women. The MVPA did not differ in groups stratified by waist circumference <88 or ≥88 cm. In women with waist circumference <88 cm, the MVPA was negatively correlated with circulating concentrations of C-reactive protein (r = −0.51, P = 0.006), leptin (r = −0.40, P = 0.008), plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (r = −0.32, P = 0.04), and triglycerides (r = −0.44, P = 0.003). No association was seen with plasma interleukin-6; tumor necrosis factor-α; and total, LDL, or HDL cholesterol concentrations.


These analyses suggest that in the years after delivery, longer time spent in MVPA practice is associated with a lower cardiometabolic risk only in women with prior GDM who do not have abdominal obesity.

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