Conditions & Treatment
6:56 pm
Fri August 15, 2014

New Review Shows Aspirin Could Lower Risk Of Preeclampsia

Credit Morgan/Flickr.com

“You’ve heard for years about the advantages of taking low-dose aspirin to head off heart problems. A new review of earlier studies has found that the same strategy can help pregnant women avoid the condition known as preeclampsia, which can lead to pre-term birth and other serious consequences. We turn to our healthy living expert Dr. Theresa Rohr-Kirchgraber for a little perspective, starting with a little reminder of what preeclampsia is,” says host Barbara Lewis. 

Dr. Rohr-Kirchgraber: "Preeclampsia is a condition in which a pregnant women develops high blood pressure. And usually, that's blood pressure greater than 140/190; protein in their urine, which is known as proteinuria; and usually this is observed somewhere during the second half of pregnancy, usually after about 20 weeks of being pregnant. These two first features are kind of considered as preeclampsia, which are kind of the warning signs. The problem is that preeclampsia can then be associated and gone on to even further complications... including remarkably high blood pressure of greater than 160/110, eventually causing low platelet counts which can cause problems with bleeding, liver troubles; kidney troubles; and eventually even leading to seizures and fluid in the lungs. So preeclampsia is the beginning features of a situation that may become much worse."

Lewis: "The review found that Aspirin could lower the risk of preeclampsia and some other pregnancy-related problems. What exactly were the benefits and risks? And how significant were they?"

Rohr-Kirchgraber: "Before we encourage pregnant women to take aspirin on their own, let me kind of clarify that this is really trying to determine those women that are high risk for developing preeclampsia and its consequences, and how we can prevent it in that specific group. Because aspirin is a great medication and it's been around for a long time, but it needs to be used with caution. So this study was really looking at a number of pooled-together information from a number of other studies to try to help answer that question again, and how to identify those women that are at the biggest risk for identifying this condition. And if so, how we would prevent it."