Tag Archives: pre-eclampsia

NIHR Signal – Aspirin reduces a woman’s chance of developing pre-eclampsia in pregnancy

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Giving low dose aspirin to high-risk women reduced their risk of pre-eclampsia before 37 weeks of pregnancy. Preterm pre-eclampsia developed in 1.6% of women given 150mg aspirin daily compared with 4.3% who took a placebo.

Pre-eclampsia is a condition which can harm mother and baby. In the mother, it causes high blood pressure and protein in the urine, which can show in pregnancy after 20 weeks. Women with risk factors, such as previous pre-eclampsia, diabetes or high blood pressure, are often prescribed 75mg aspirin from 12 weeks onwards. This study aimed to test double this dose (still classified as a `low dose’) after using a new risk assessment with additional clinical tests to better identify those at high risk of the condition. Aspirin did not affect other pregnancy outcomes and didn’t increase the risk of adverse effects.

This research adds to current knowledge about the range of doses that is effective and refines the definition and detection of women at high risk. The research did not compare 75mg with 150mg doses.

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Should women be advised to use calcium supplements during pregnancy?

The study concluded that advising pregnant women to use calcium supplements can be expected to cause substantial reductions in the incidence of pre-eclampsia as well as related health care costs. It appears most efficient to advise calcium supplementation to all pregnant women, not subgroups only.

Linda J. E. Meertens, Hubertina C. J. Scheepers, Jessica P. M. M. Willemse et al. Should women be advised to use calcium supplements during pregnancy? A decision analysis. Maternal & Child Nutrition 18 JUN 2017 DOI: 10.1111/mcn.12479

Details of full text available here

Daily aspirin reduces pre-eclampsia for ‘at-risk’ women – NIHR Signal

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

NIHR Signal: – Starting daily low-dose aspirin before 16 weeks of pregnancy in women at risk reduces pre-eclampsia, severe pre-eclampsia and foetal growth restriction. Aspirin started after 16 weeks is less beneficial, giving smaller risk reduction for pre-eclampsia and no effect on other outcomes. Defining who is ‘at risk’ remains challenging.

Pre-eclampsia is a rare pregnancy complication, but one that can be dangerous for both mother and baby. Pregnant women are screened for pre-eclampsia risk factors at the antenatal booking appointment. NICE recommend women identified to be at risk are given preventative treatment with 75mg of aspirin from 12 weeks onwards.

This large systematic review assessed doses between 50 and 150mg daily and suggests the higher of these low dose options started before 16 weeks may be better than the very low (60mg) doses. Most studies assessed 100mg or 60mg doses; 100mg aspirin was effective, whereas 60mg was not. Only two small studies assessed the recommended 75mg but it was effective. Aspirin is readily available and a cheap drug.

The findings require confirmation in larger trials that directly compare different doses.

Read the full Signal here