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NIH Study to Examine Long-Term Effects of Pregnancy on Maternal Health, Biology

  By Patrick Broadwater
  Monday, April 16, 2018

pregnant woman holding bellyPregnancy is a period of extreme change, as maternal physiology adapts rapidly to sustain a growing fetus. It is conventionally assumed that women’s physiology returns to its pre-pregnancy state within six months of giving birth, but the evidence for that is limited, and it remains somewhat controversial. Researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) are examining which metabolic changes of pregnancy may persist into the postpartum years and how this may contribute to an increased risk for later disease.

With a five-year, $2.6 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), researchers will conduct a longitudinal study that extends from early pregnancy until three years postpartum to better understand how changes during the perinatal period may identify mothers at risk for future cardiometabolic problems and the modifiable factors that can help reduce those risks.

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