Calcium Supplementation In Nulliparous Women For The Prevention Of Pregnancy-Induced Hypertension, Preeclampsia And Preterm Birth: An Australian Randomized Irial

Authors


7 Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia 5005.

Abstract

Summary: A multicentre, randomized controlled double-blind trial in 5 maternity hospitals in Australia assessed the effect of a daily supplement of calcium (1.8g oral calcium or an oral placebo) taken daily until delivery, from less than 24 weeks' gestation, on the frequency of pregnancy-induced hypertension, preeclampsia and preterm birth (< 37 weeks' gestation) in 456 nulliparas with a singleton pregnancy. Treatment with calcium reduced the risk of preeclampsia (relative risk 0.44 [95% CI, 0.21–0.90], p = 0.02) and the risk of preterm birth (relative risk 0.44 [95% CI, 0.21 - 0.90], p = 0.02). No significant differences were seen between the 2 groups in the frequency of pregnancy-induced hypertension, although the study only had statistical power to detect large differences in this outcome. An updated systematic review of the 9 randomized trials of calcium supplementation in pregnancy shows a significant reduction in the risk of hypertension and preeclampsia although no effect on preterm birth. Calcium supplementation during pregnancy reduced the risk of preeclampsia and preterm birth in this nulliparous population. The available evidence for systematic review of all the randomized trials of calcium supplementation shows benefit in reducing the risk of hypertension and preeclampsia.

Ancillary