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Benefit Not Seen From Supplements in Pregnancy

Vitamins C, E don't reduce adverse outcomes related to pregnancy-associated hypertension

THURSDAY, April 8 (HealthDay News) -- The use of vitamin C and E supplementation during pregnancy is not linked to a lower rate of adverse outcomes related to pregnancy-associated hypertension in the mother or offspring, according to research published in the April 8 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

James M. Roberts, M.D., of the University of Pittsburgh, and colleagues analyzed data from 9,969 nulliparous women at low risk for preeclampsia who were randomized to receive daily supplements of 1,000 mg of vitamin C and 400 IU of vitamin E or placebo, beginning between the ninth and 16th weeks of pregnancy. The primary outcome was severe pregnancy-related hypertension or severe or mild hypertension along with other issues including elevated serum creatinine or medically indicated preterm birth.

The researchers found that the treatment and placebo groups had statistically similar rates of the primary outcome (6.1 and 5.7 percent, respectively) and preeclampsia (7.2 and 6.7 percent, respectively). The rates of adverse perinatal outcomes were also similar.

"Previous studies have shown a similar lack of efficacy among high-risk women and among women who were likely to have had a deficiency of vitamins C and E. The findings of these several studies provide no support for the use of vitamin C and E supplementation in pregnancy to reduce the risk of preeclampsia or its complications," the authors conclude.

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