Lifestyle Determinants of Maternal Health


The state of Georgia has the second-highest rate of maternal mortality in the US. (48.4 deaths per 100,000) and therefore work to improve maternal health is desperately needed. Obesity before and during pregnancy is a strong risk factor for poor maternal health. It also can lead to future health problems in the child. Research shows that lifestyle factors, such as diet, exercise, and other factors can improve or worsen risk, but it is unknown how much each of these contribute.

Our research team uses body fat, fitness, diet, and inactivity to determine the influence of each factor on various markers of cardiometabolic health during pregnancy. The future goal of this research is to collect important information for the development of effective interventions for improving cardiometabolic health in pregnant women. This research program provides multiple opportunities for promising KSU students from various disciplines to gain research experience in cardiometabolic health and the lifestyle factors that contribute to it. 

Experience Gained

Students involved in our program are given opportunities to gain advanced knowledge and skills in this topic area including, but not limited to:

  • Evaluation of cardiovascular and metabolic health
  • Principles of research
  • Scientific literature search and review
  • Laboratory skills
  • Scientific writing
  • Subject recruitment and communication
  • Research project development
  • Data collection and organization
  • Analyses and interpretation of results
  • Research presentations and public speaking
  • Collaborative work

Majors and Interests Needed

  • Exercise Science and Sport Management
  • Public Health
  • Nursing
  • Biology
  • Chemistry / Biochemistry
  • Molecular and Cellular Biology
  • Engineering / Bioengineering
  • Psychology
  • Mathematics / Statistics

Team Advisors

Additional Faculty Collaborators