Bed rest and other determinants of bone loss during pregnancy

Joanne H E Promislow, Irva Hertz-Picciotto, Margaret Schramm, Margaret Watt-Morse, John J B Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to evaluate patterns of bone loss during pregnancy and potential influences. This was a prospective study of 181 women receiving prenatal care at Magee-Womens Hospital or its auxiliary clinics in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, between 1992 and 1995. Bone mineral density was measured at approximately 16 and 36 weeks' gestation. Trabecular, but not cortical, bone loss occurred during pregnancy. Mean ultra-distal bone mineral density loss was 1.9% (95% CI 1.2-2.5) during the 20-week period. Women prescribed bed rest had an adjusted mean loss of 4.6% compared with 1.5% for women not prescribed bed rest (P =. 001) and 6-fold higher odds (P =. 001) of bone loss ≥5% during the 20-week period. Nulliparity, calcium intake <2000 mg/day, low weight gain, and maternal age <21 or >30 years were more modestly associated with greater bone loss. Substantial trabecular bone loss may occur during pregnancy, particularly in women prescribed bed rest. Study of postpartum bone recovery in such women is needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1077-1083
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2004


  • Bed rest
  • Bone loss
  • Pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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