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Women, Volume 1, Issue 3 (September 2021) – 3 articles

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Systematic Review
The Impact of Resistance Training on Body Composition, Muscle Strength, and Functional Fitness in Older Women (45–80 Years): A Systematic Review (2010–2020)
Women 2021, 1(3), 143-168; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/women1030014 - 14 Sep 2021
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Abstract
As women age, they typically experience a progressive decrease in skeletal muscle mass and strength, which can lead to a decline in functional fitness and quality of life. Resistance training (RT) has the potential to attenuate these losses. Although well established for men, [...] Read more.
As women age, they typically experience a progressive decrease in skeletal muscle mass and strength, which can lead to a decline in functional fitness and quality of life. Resistance training (RT) has the potential to attenuate these losses. Although well established for men, evidence regarding the benefits of RT for women is sparse and inconsistent: prior reviews include too few studies with women and do not adequately examine the interactive or additive impacts of workload, modalities, and nutritional supplements on outcomes such as muscle mass (MM), body composition (BC), muscle strength (MS), and functional fitness (FF). The purpose of this review is to identify these gaps. Thirty-eight papers published between 2010 and 2020 (in English) represent 2519 subjects (mean age = 66.89 ± 4.91 years). Intervention averages include 2 to 3 × 50 min sessions across 15 weeks with 7 exercises per session and 11 repetitions per set. Twelve studies (32%) examined the impact of RT plus dietary manipulation. MM, MS, and FF showed positive changes after RT. Adding RT to fitness regimens for peri- to postmenopausal women is likely to have positive benefits. Full article
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Commentary
Meeting the Mental Health Needs of College Student-Mothers during the COVID-19 Pandemic in the United States
Women 2021, 1(3), 137-142; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/women1030013 - 27 Aug 2021
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Abstract
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is the deadliest public health emergency in the twenty-first century. To mitigate the rapid spread of the virus, institutions around the globe, including higher education, instituted infection control measures such as social distancing and restricted movements with virtual/remote work [...] Read more.
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is the deadliest public health emergency in the twenty-first century. To mitigate the rapid spread of the virus, institutions around the globe, including higher education, instituted infection control measures such as social distancing and restricted movements with virtual/remote work and learning environments. These changes, including the pandemic-related stressors, are associated with poor mental health among college students. However, student-mothers may encounter an aggravated psychological impact of the pandemic because of their competing and challenging intersecting roles. Multipronged strategies and targeted-mental health services that consider the needs of student-mothers, their children, and families are encouraged to mitigate the pandemic’s impact. Doing so has important implications for public health, policy, and research. Full article
Article
Social Determinants of Cigarette Smoking among American Women during Pregnancy
Women 2021, 1(3), 128-136; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/women1030012 - 15 Jul 2021
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Abstract
Educational attainment is among the most substantial protective factors against cigarette smoking, including during pregnancy. Although Minorities’ Diminished Returns (MDRs) of educational attainment, defined as weaker protective effect of education for racial and ethnic minority groups compared to Non-Hispanic Whites, has been [...] Read more.
Educational attainment is among the most substantial protective factors against cigarette smoking, including during pregnancy. Although Minorities’ Diminished Returns (MDRs) of educational attainment, defined as weaker protective effect of education for racial and ethnic minority groups compared to Non-Hispanic Whites, has been demonstrated in previous studies; such MDRs are not tested for cigarette smoking during pregnancy. To better understand the relevance of MDRs to tobacco use during pregnancy, this study had three aims: firstly, to investigate the association between educational attainment and cigarette smoking in pregnant women; secondly, to compare racial and ethnic groups for the association between educational attainment and cigarette smoking; and thirdly, to explore the mediating effect of poverty status on such MDRs, among American adults during pregnancy. This cross-sectional study explored a nationally representative sample of pregnant American women (n = 338), which was taken from the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH; 2013). Current smoking was the outcome. Educational attainment was the independent variable. Region and age were the covariates. Poverty status was the mediator. Race and ethnicity were the effect modifiers. Overall, a higher level of educational attainment (OR = 0.54, p < 0.05) was associated with lower odds of current smoking among pregnant women. Race (OR = 2.04, p < 0.05) and ethnicity (OR = 2.12, p < 0.05) both showed significant interactions with educational attainment on smoking, suggesting that the protective effect of educational attainment against smoking during pregnancy is smaller for Blacks and Hispanics than Non-Hispanic Whites. Poverty status fully mediated the above interactions. In the United States, highly educated pregnant Black and Hispanic women remain at higher risk of smoking cigarettes, possibly because they are more likely to live in poverty, compared to their White counterparts. The results suggest the role that labor market discrimination has in explaining lower returns of educational attainment in terms of less cigarette smoking by racial and ethnic minority pregnant women. Full article
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