1990’s Pre-Eclampsia/Eclampsia Research

Current research is being done on pre-eclampsia/eclampsiaA-convulsive-state:-an-attack-of-convuls..., but it is completely ignoring past findings on nutrition. Two such studies are abstracted here. CLASP: a randomised trial of low-dose aspirin for the prevention and treatment of pre-eclampsia among 9364 pregnant women. CLASP (Collaborative Low-dose Aspirin Study in Pregnancy) Collaborative Group [see comments] Source Lancet, 343(8898):619-29 1994 Mar 12

Pre-eclampsia is a common and serious complication of pregnancy that affects both mother and child. Review of previous small trials of antiplatelet therapy, particularly low-dose aspirin, suggested reductions of about three-quarters in the incidence of pre-eclampsia and some avoidance of intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR), but larger trials have not confirmed these results.

In our multicentre study 9364 women were randomly assigned 60 mg aspirin daily or matching placebo. 74% were entered for prophylaxis of pre-eclampsia, 12% for prophylaxis of IUGR, 12% for treatment of pre-eclampsia, and 3% for treatment of IUGR.

Overall, the use of aspirin was associated with a reduction of only 12% in the incidence of proteinuric pre-eclampsia, which was not significant. Nor was there any significant effect on the incidence of IUGR or of stillbirth and neonatal death. Aspirin did, however, significantly reduce the likelihood of preterm delivery (19.7% aspirin vs 22.2% control; absolute reduction of 2.5 [SD 0.9] per 100 women treated; 2p = 0.003).

There was a significant trend (p = 0.004) towards progressively greater reductions in proteinuric pre-eclampsia the more preterm the delivery. Aspirin was not associated with a significant increase in placental haemorrhages or in bleeding during preparation for epidural anaesthesia, but there was a slight increase in use of blood transfusion after delivery. Low-dose aspirin was generally safe for the fetus and newborn infant, with no evidence of an increased likelihood of bleeding.

Our findings do not support routine prophylactic or therapeutic administration of antiplatelet therapy in pregnancy to all women at increased risk of pre-eclampsia or IUGR. Low-dose aspirin may be justified in women judged to be especially liable to early-onset pre-eclampsia severe enough to need very preterm delivery. In such women it seems appropriate to start low-dose aspirin prophylactically early in the second trimester.

Trial of calcium to prevent preeclampsiaA-toxic-condition-developing-in-late-pre... [see comments] Levine RJ, et al. N Engl J Med, 337(2):69-76 1997 Jul 10

BACKGROUND: Previous trials have suggested that calcium supplementation during pregnancy may reduce the risk of preeclampsia. However, differences in study design and a low dietary calcium intake in the populations studied limit acceptance of the data.

METHODS: We randomly assigned 4589 healthy nulliparous women who were 13 to 21 weeks pregnant to receive daily treatment with either 2 g of elemental calcium or placebo for the remainder of their pregnancies. Surveillance for preeclampsia was conducted by personnel unaware of treatment-group assignments, using standardized measurements of blood pressure and urinary protein excretion at uniformly scheduled prenatal visits, protocols for monitoring these measurements during the hospitalization for delivery, and reviews of medical records of unscheduled outpatient visits and all hospitalizations.

RESULTS: Calcium supplementation did not significantly reduce the incidence or severity of preeclampsia or delay its onset. Preeclampsia occurred in 158 of the 2295 women in the calcium group (6.9 percent) and 168 of the 2294 women in the placebo group (7.3 percent) (relative risk, 0.94; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.76 to 1.16). There were no significant differences between the two groups in the prevalence of pregnancy-associated hypertension without preeclampsia (15.3 percent vs. 17.3 percent) or of all hypertensive disorders (22.2 percent vs. 24.6 percent). The mean systolic and diastolic blood pressures during pregnancy were similar in both groups. Calcium did not reduce the numbers of preterm deliveries, small-for-gestational-age births, or fetal and neonatal deaths; nor did it increase urolithiasis during pregnancy.

CONCLUSIONS: Calcium supplementation during pregnancy did not prevent preeclampsia, pregnancy-associated hypertension, or adverse perinatal outcomes in healthy nulliparous women.

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