University of Pennsylvania, 1987; M.P.H., University of Massachusetts Amherst, 1990; Sc.D., Harvard University, 1995; Postdoctoral, Harvard University
physical activity epidemiology; reproductive & perinatal epidemiology; gestational diabetes mellitus; Hispanic women
As the prevalence of diabetes continues to rise worldwide, it becomes increasingly important to identify high risk populations and to implement strategies to delay or prevent diabetes onset. Women diagnosed with gestational diabetes mellitus are at substantially increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes and obesity, currently at epidemic rates in the U.S. Although physical activity has been considered in previous studies of pregnancy outcome, their potential influence on gestational diabetes and subsequent onset of type 2 diabetes has not been elucidated. Hispanic women are 2-4 times more likely than non-Hispanic white women to be diagnosed with gestational diabetes.
In light of these observations, my research has focused on 3 specific goals:
- Develop and Validate Physical Activity Assessment Tools: To create, validate, and promulgate tools designed to accurately measure physical activity in pregnant women of diverse backgrounds.
- Inform Clinical Practice by Identifying Modifiable Risk Factors: To determine the impact of modifiable risk factors such as physical activity on adverse maternal/fetal outcomes such as gestational diabetes in Hispanic women.
- Translate Findings into Public Health Strategies: To evaluate the feasibility and efficacy of high-reach, low-cost strategies for the adoption and maintenance of healthy behaviors during pregnancy among diverse populations.
New textbook: "Writing Dissertation and Grant Proposals: Epidemiology, Preventive Medicine and Biostatistics" available at the CRC Press website.
Key publications selected from over 75 peer-reviewed publications:
Lynch K, Landsbaugh JR, Whitcomb BW, Pekow P, Markenson G, Chasan-Taber L. Physical Activity of Pregnant Hispanic Women, Am J Prev Med 2012 Oct;43(4):434-9.
Evenson KR, Chasan-Taber L, Symons Downs D, and Pearce EE. Review of self-reported physical activity assessments for pregnancy: Summary of the evidence for validity and reliability. Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol. 2012 Sep;26(5):479-94. Review. PMID: 22882792
Downs D, Chasan-Taber L, Leiferman J, Yeo S, Evenson K. Physical Activity and Pregnancy: Past and Present Evidence and Future Recommendations. [Invited Review] Res Q Exerc Sport. 2012 Dec;83(4):485-502. PMID: 23367811
Chasan-Taber L. Physical Activity and Dietary Behaviors associated with Weight Gain and Impaired Glucose Tolerance among Pregnant Latinas. Advances in Nutrition 2012; 3(1): 108-118. PMID:22332109
Colberg SR, Sigal RJ, Fernhall B, Regensteiner JG, Blissmer BJ, Rubin RR, Chasan-Taber L, Albright AL, Braun B. Exercise and Type 2 diabetes: the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Diabetes Association: Joint Position Statement: American College of Sports Medicine; American Diabetes Association. Diabetes Care. 2010 Dec;33(12):e147-67. PMID:21115758