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Multivitamins May Lower Preeclampsia Risk

23 April 2011

Results from a large study show that regular use of a multivitamin supplement in the months before and during pregnancy may reduce the risk of preeclampsia by as much as 71%.

Preeclampsia is a complication of pregnancy associated with high blood pressure and excessive swelling of arms and legs. If untreated, the condition can progress to Eclampsia, a condition characterized by seizures, coma, and possible death of the mother or child.  In a recent study, lean women who used multivitamins before and during their pregnancies had their risk of preeclampsia reduced by 45-71 percent.

Research included 1,835 pregnant women enrolled in the Pregnancy Exposures and Preeclampsia Prevention Study. All women were at less than 16 weeks’ gestation and were asked whether they regularly used multivitamins or prenatal vitamins in the past six months.  Women that reported use of a multivitamin or prenatal during the previous six months had a 45 percent lower risk of preeclampsia than non-users.

The reduction in risk was more significant among lean women. When lean women were analyzed separately, those who used multivitamins had a 71 percent lower risk of preeclampsia than nonusers.

These results suggest that regular use of a multivitamin supplement in the months before and during pregnancy may help prevent preeclampsia, particularly among lean women.

Source:
Bodnar LM, et al. Periconceptional multivitamin use reduces the risk of preeclampsia. 2006. Am J Epidemiol 164(5):470-7.

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