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Thursday 24th May 2018

Aspirin may reduce pre-eclampsia

17th May 2007

A major new study suggests that women who take aspirin during pregnancy can reduce the risk of pre-eclampsia.


The research by a team from the University of Sydney and published in The Lancet found that cases of pre-eclampsia could fall by 10% if aspirin was taken widely.

Pre-eclampsia, which affects about 7% of pregnancies, can trigger high blood pressure and kidney problems and can increase the chances of both mother and baby dying if uncontrolled. It can also cause excessive blood clotting in the placenta and experts suggest that aspirin, which inhibits clotting, could counter this.

The latest research, based on data from 32,000 women, found that taking “low-dose aspirin� during pregnancy reduced the risk of premature birth as well as pre-eclampsia.

However, the study found no evidence that taking aspirin long term might be linked to bleeding problems at any stage, although the researchers said their evidence was not strong enough to rule this out entirely.

Overall, they said, the potential benefits of taking the drug might outweigh the risks, particularly in women at higher risk of pre-eclampsia.

Mike Rich, chief executive of the charity Action on Pre-Eclampsia, said the study would help spread the message about the potential benefits of aspirin to a wider audience of doctors but warned that under no circumstances should pregnant women self-medicate.

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists said that because pre-eclampsia is potentially serious for some women and their babies, the study had made an important finding.

But some experts have urged caution, given the small risks linked to long-term aspirin use.


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