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Vitamins Don't Reduce Preterm Births in Low-Risk Women

Vitamins C, E administered from nine to 16 weeks of gestation until delivery not linked to lower risk

THURSDAY, Aug. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Supplementation with vitamins C and E starting at nine to 16 weeks of gestation in nulliparous women at low risk for delivering prematurely is not associated with a reduced risk of spontaneous preterm birth, according to research published in the September issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

In a secondary analysis of a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, John C. Hauth, M.D., of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and colleagues studied 10,154 low-risk nulliparous women randomized to 1,000 mg vitamin C and 400 IU vitamin E or placebo daily from nine to 16 weeks of gestation until delivery.

Among 9,968 women (4,992 in the vitamin group and 4,976 in the placebo group) with available outcome data, the investigators found that 1,038 women (10.4 percent) had a preterm delivery, of whom 698 (7.0 percent) had a spontaneous preterm delivery. Spontaneous preterm birth was recorded in 356 women (7.1 percent) receiving daily supplementation and 342 (6.9 percent) receiving placebo. The researchers also found that 253 women (2.5 percent) delivered after preterm premature rupture of membranes (PROM), and 445 (4.5 percent) delivered after spontaneous preterm labor.

"Maternal supplementation with vitamins C and E beginning at nine to 16 weeks of gestation in nulliparous women at low risk did not reduce spontaneous preterm births," the authors write.

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