Last modified: August 2, 2019
Richard Honaker M.D.View Full Profile
A recent study presents conclusive evidence of improved outcomes in taking low dose aspirin before bedtime to reduce the risk of pre-eclampsia in pregnant women.
The authors of the study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that a 150 mg dose of aspirin resulted in a decreased rate of pre-eclampsia. In fact, reductions of 62 percent leading to delivery prior to 37 weeks and 82 percent leading to delivery prior to 34 weeks.
Let’s take a deeper look . . .
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The Aspirin vs. Pre-Eclampsia Study Revealed Lower Percentage of Risk for the Serious Pregnancy Risk
Researchers gathered 1,776 women who have high risks for pre-term pre-eclampsia and gave 150 mg dose of aspirin per day from between 11 to 14 weeks of pregnancy until 36 weeks. They found a lower occurrence of developing the disease in women who were taking aspirin than those in the placebo group.
Pre-term pre-eclampsia developed in 13 participants (1.6%) in the aspirin group, while it developed in 35 women in pregnancy (4.3%) in the placebo group.
According to the authors of the study, their extensive research only proves that women can use simple measures during their first trimester of pregnancy to notably minimize their chances of getting pre-term pre-eclampsia. They also hope that their research will help change clinical practice and improve pregnancy results for mothers and babies.
The study noted, “In conclusion, this randomized trial showed that among women with singleton pregnancies who were identified by means of first-trimester screening as being at high risk for preterm pre- eclampsia, the administration of aspirin at a dose of 150 mg per day from 11 to 14 weeks of gestation until 36 weeks of gestation resulted in a significantly lower incidence of preterm pre- eclampsia than that with placebo.”
What is Pre-Eclampsia? Did You Know the Pregnancy Risk is Possible in 2 Percent of Pregnancies?
Pre-eclampsia makes the blood flow via the placenta to become reduced, which restricts the flow of oxygen and nutrients to the fetus. As a result, growth is restricted as well. Having a family history of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure or kidney diseases heightens the chance of getting pre-eclampsia.
Severe cases of pre-eclampsia can emerge in around 2% of pregnancies, while mild cases of pre-eclampsia can occur in up to 6% of women in pregnancy. Severe cases have higher risks of complications, which could lead to premature birth. In extreme cases, both the mother and the baby could die.
There were over 30 trials that examined the benefit of a dose of 50 to 150 mg of aspirin per day to avert pre-eclampsia that was analyzed. The analysis revealed that the therapy yielded in a 10% lower occurrence of pre-eclampsia.
Individual participant data from the study were also analyzed. It showed that the effect of aspirin was not affected by which stage in the pregnancy the aspirin was introduced. Other analyses though, have shown that aspirin introduced at or before 16 weeks of pregnancy had the outcome of lowering the rates of pre-eclampsia, getal-growth restriction, and perinatal death in half. Relatively, aspirin introduced after 16 weeks of pregnancy didn’t have a remarkable benefit.
What Are Other Experts and Organizations for Women’s Health Saying About Pre-Eclampsia, Pregnancy, and Aspirin Use?
The World Health Organization have already recommended low dose aspirin to preclude pre-eclampsia in women at high risk and that it should be introduced before 20 weeks of pregnancy.
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) have recommended the use of aspirin in women who have a history of pre-eclampsia in more than one pregnancy or a history of pre-eclampsia leading to delivery before 34 weeks of pregnancy.
Trial from the Combined Multimarker Screening and Randomized Patient Treatment with Aspirin for Evidence-Based Pre-eclampsia Prevention (ASPRE) was administered at 13 maternity hospitals in Europe, specifically the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Greece, and Israel.
All of the women who had a regimen of prenatal visits in the participating hospitals were screened for pre-eclampsia combining maternal factors like weight, family history, medical history of diabetes, mean arterial pressure, uterine-artery pulsatility index, and maternal serum pregnancy-associated plasma protein A and the growth factor of placenta.
Pre-Eclampsia and Pregnancy Disorders Account for Over 500,000 Infant Deaths Annually
According to the Pre-eclampsia Foundation, pre-eclampsia and other hypertensive disorders of pregnancy are the major reasons of maternal and infant illness and death all over the world. Disorders such as these are roughly calculated to be the source of 76,000 maternal and 500,000 infant deaths every year.
Pre-eclampsia is normally distinguished by an unexpected elevation in blood pressure and protein in the urine. This can happen after the 20th week of gestation and usually results in pre-term delivery. It can induce convulsions (eclampsia), renal or liver failure, cardiac, pulmonary, and other maternal health problems.
Pre-eclampsia before 37 weeks usually contributes to health issues for the baby like growth restriction, developmental delays brought about by their prematurity or even death.
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Submitted by Dr. Richard Honaker: http://www.independentmedicalexaminer.com/IME-Directory/Virginia/Dr-Richard-A-Honaker-MD.asp
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