Wednesday, April 26, 2023

A University of Iowa assistant professor has received a grant to study how prenatal patterns in physical activity affect the health of the child.

The grant is an extension of work being done by Kara Whitaker, an assistant professor in health and human physiology, as part of the ongoing “Pregnancy 24/7” cohort study. Whitaker’s award from the National Institutes of Health is for five years and exceeds $3.2 million.

The “Pregnancy 24/7 Offspring Study” will use behavior assessments in each trimester of pregnancy collected as part of the ongoing “Pregnancy 24/7” study—whose collaborators include the University of Pittsburgh and West Virginia University—and add additional assessments of offspring growth, excess body fat, and cardiovascular disease risk through 24 months. The goal is to find ways to decrease the risk of obesity and cardiovascular disease in children.

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to extend our work in the ongoing ‘Pregnancy 24/7’ cohort study to assess how activity patterns in pregnancy are related to growth and cardiovascular health in the child,” Whitaker says.