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Research & Development In Brief

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

Vitamins and pregnancy-related hypertension: Vitamin C and E supplementation initiated in the ninth to 16 week of pregnancy did not reduce the rate of adverse maternal or perinatal outcomes related to pregnancy-associated hypertension, according to a New England Journal of Medicine study. Led by James M. Roberts, University of Pittsburgh, the randomized, double-blind trial involving 10,154 women at low-risk for preeclampsia found no "significant difference" between the vitamin and placebo groups in the rates of primary outcome. Conducted from July 2003 through February 2008, women in the study were instructed to take 1,000 mg of vitamin C and 400 IU of vitamin E or a matching placebo. The primary outcome was severe hypertension or severe or mild hypertension with elevated liver-enzyme levels, preterm birth or perinatal death. The research NEJM published April 8 tested the theory that the generation of free radicals in response to reduced placental perfusion may lead to clinical manifestations. Previous studies showed a lack of efficacy for the vitamins among high-risk women and those who were likely to have a deficiency of vitamins C and E
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