Major WHO study concludes calcium supplements can reduce complications during pregnancy

March 10, 2006

Preeclampsia, the development of high blood pressure and protein in the urine during pregnancy and its more severe complications such as eclampsia, can threaten the lives of both mother and child. While there is no therapy to prevent preeclampsia, a link to calcium deficiency has been suggested. In a study published in the March issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, researchers across the globe, under the auspices of the World Health Organization (WHO), investigated whether a calcium supplement could reduce the complications and mortality from this condition.

Over 8300 women with low dietary calcium (<600 mg>While the incidence of preeclampsia was not statistically different in the supplemented women, eclampsia, other severe complications and severe gestational hypertension were significantly lower. Overall, the "severe preeclamptic complications index" and the "severe maternal morbidity and mortality index," including all severe conditions, were also reduced with calcium.

Preterm and early preterm delivery (<32 weeks) tended to be reduced among women ¡Ü20 years of age who were at highest risk for low calcium and complications. it is very important note that neonatal mortality was also lower in the group.

This multicenter, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial was performed at antenatal care centers located in Rosario, Argentina; Assiut, Egypt; Nagpur and Vellore, India; Lima, Peru; East London and Johannesburg, South Africa; and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. These centers are part of the WHO Maternal and Perinatal Research Network, each having extensive clinical trial experience.

Writing in the article, Jose Villar, MD, states, "This large randomized trial in populations with low calcium intake demonstrates that while supplementation with 1.5 gm calcium/day did not result in a statistically significant decrease in the overall incidence of preeclampsia, calcium significantly decreased the risk of its more serious complications, including maternal and severe neonatal morbidity and mortality, as well as preterm delivery, the latter among young women."
-end-
The study, "WHO Randomized Trial of Calcium Supplementation Among Low Calcium Intake Pregnant Women" by Jose Villar, MD; Hany Abdel-Aleem, MD; Mario Merialdi, MD; Matthews Mathai, MD; Mohamed Ali, PhD; Nelly Zavaleta, MD; Manorama Purwar; MD; Justus Hofmeyr, MD; Nguyen thi Nhu Ngoc, MD; Liana Camp¨®donico, MSc; Sihem Landoulsi, MSc; Guillermo Carroli, MD and Marshall Lindheimer, MD, on behalf of the WHO Calcium Supplementation for the Prevention of Preeclampsia Trial Group, appears in the March 2006 issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Volume 194, Issue 3 published by Elsevier.

Elsevier Health Sciences

Related Mortality Articles from Brightsurf:

Being in treatment with statins reduces COVID-19 mortality by 22% to 25%
A research by the Universitat Rovira i Virgili (URV) and Pere Virgili Institut (IISPV) led by LluĂ­s Masana has found that people who are being treated with statins have a 22% to 25% lower risk of dying from COVID-19.

Mortality rate higher for US rural residents
A recent study by Syracuse University sociology professor Shannon Monnat shows that mortality rates are higher for U.S. working-age residents who live in rural areas instead of metro areas, and the gap is getting wider.

COVID-19, excess all-cause mortality in US, 18 comparison countries
COVID-19 deaths and excess all-cause mortality in the U.S. are compared with 18 countries with diverse COVID-19 responses in this study.

New analysis shows hydroxychloroquine does not lower mortality in COVID-19 patients, and is associated with increased mortality when combined with the antibiotic azithromycin
A new meta-analysis of published studies into the drug hydroxychloroquine shows that it does not lower mortality in COVID-19 patients, and using it combined with the antibiotic azithromycin is associated with a 27% increased mortality.

Hydroxychloroquine reduces in-hospital COVID-19 mortality
An Italian observational study contributes to the ongoing debate regarding the use of hydroxychloroquine in the current pandemic.

What's the best way to estimate and track COVID-19 mortality?
When used correctly, the symptomatic case fatality ratio (sCFR) and the infection fatality ratio (IFR) are better measures by which to monitor COVID-19 epidemics than the commonly reported case fatality ratio (CFR), according to a new study published this week in PLOS Medicine by Anthony Hauser of the University of Bern, Switzerland, and colleagues.

COVID-19: Bacteriophage could decrease mortality
Bacteriophage can reduce bacterial growth in the lungs, limiting fluid build-up.

COPD and smoking associated with higher COVID-19 mortality
Current smokers and people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) have an increased risk of severe complications and higher mortality with COVID-19 infection, according to a new study published May 11, 2020 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Jaber Alqahtani of University College London, UK, and colleagues.

Highest mortality risks for poor and unemployed
Large dataset shows that income, work status and education have a clear influence on mortality in Germany.

Addressing causes of mortality in Zambia
Despite the fact that people in sub-Saharan Africa are now living longer than they did two decades ago, their average life expectancy remains below that of the rest of the world population.

Read More: Mortality News and Mortality Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.