Because pre-eclampsia is a relatively common complication of pregnancy and forms a major cause of maternal, fetal, and neonatal morbidity and mortality, attempts at prevention are justified, but hampered by the fact that as yet no reliable and acceptable screening tests for women at risk are available. Analysis of the many interventions advocated to prevent or delay the onset of pre-eclampsia reveals that dietary calcium supplementation and prophylactic low-dose aspirin treatment have shown promise of efficacy in small randomized, placebo-controlled trials, but the results of large, multicenter trials are generally disappointing. The disappointing results obtained in large, multicenter trials may in part be explained by the lack of strict criteria for inclusion, late initiation of treatment, use of ill-defined end points, different timing of aspirin ingestion, and low patient compliance. Recent evidence that supplementation with vitamins C and E could prevent pre-eclampsia awaits confirmation. Future clinical trials on prevention of pre-eclampsia should be based on results of basic research.

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European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology
Department of Gynaecology & Obstetrics

Wallenburg, H. (2001). Prevention of pre-eclampsia: Status and perspectives 2000. European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology (Vol. 94, pp. 13–22). doi:10.1016/S0301-2115(00)00303-1