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Extra Doses of Vitamins C, E Don't Guard Against Preeclampsia
Date:11/30/2007

Study adds to evidence that supplementation during pregnancy makes little difference

FRIDAY, Nov. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Taking extra doses of vitamins E and C doesn't reduce the chances of the blood pressure disorder preeclampsia in women who are at risk for the dangerous pregnancy complication, a new report finds.

The study casts real doubt on the effectiveness of this regimen in preventing preeclampsia, said study author Dr. Joseph A. Spinnato II, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. "There were those that were arguing that the evidence was enough prior to our publication, so I think this is added weight," he said.

There may be other avenues of hope, however.

"The article was compelling and a little disappointing, but the authors left us with an out at the end of the article, that perhaps we shouldn't give E and C at the same time because the E might negate the C," said Dr. Miriam Greene, an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at New York University School of Medicine in New York City. "You can continue and try to do the two separately. They did prove that the drugs were safe."

The findings appears in the December issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Preeclampsia, which occurs in about 5 percent of all pregnant women in the United States, can lead to sudden high blood pressure and irregular blood flow. This can activate platelets and the clotting system, which in turn slows blood flow further.

Risk factors for preeclampsia include: first pregnancy, 10 years since previous pregnancy, carrying multiple fetuses, being overweight, being under 20 or over 35, or having a history of high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney disease, lupus or preeclampsia in a previous pregnancy, according to the March of Dimes.

At present, medical professionals have no clear guidance on how to prevent this potentially fata
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