Regular administration of a multivitamin during the prenatal period may reduce the risk of preeclampsia, especially in underweight women, researchers in Pennsylvania reported. "If the results obtained by us will be confirmed by others, then they reveal a risk factor of preeclampsia that can be modified by methods that are not expensive, that are safe and targeted," said the researchers in the American Journal of Epidemiology. . Lisa M. Bodnar of the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health together with her colleagues studied the independent effect of using prenatal multivitamins on the risk of preeclampsia in 1835 pregnant women who participated in the study entitled "Risks of Pregnancy and prevention of preeclampsia "between 1997 and 2001.When included in the study, the pregnant women had less than 16 weeks of gestation and were questioned regarding the consumption of multivitamins or prenatal vitamins during the last 6 months. The unadjusted prevalence of preeclampsia was 3.8% in those who consumed multivitamins and 4.4% in pregnant women who did not use these vitamins.
The regular administration of a multivitamin was associated with a 45% reduction in the risk of preeclampsia, the study authors said. This was found to be independent of age, racial or ethnic origin, marital status, parity, income and physical activity before pregnancy. However, the protective effect of multivitamins is limited only to weak women, who became pregnant with a BMI (lower than body weight) of less than 25. According to the research team, weaker women who consume multivitamins have a 71% reduction of the risk of preeclampsia compared to those who do not consume these vitamins. In contrast, no association was found between use of multivitamins and preeclampsia in overweight women.
Further studies are needed to clarify the mechanisms that cause this difference in body weight and to determine which of the nutrients are most relevant in terms of preeclampsia prevention.