Scientists have launched a study to determine whether vitamin supplements can prevent women from developing the serious complication of pre-eclampsia during pregnancy.
More than 2,000 pregnant women at risk of pre-eclampsia, which is marked by dangerously high blood pressure will be given supplements of vitamins C and E. Women with pre-eclampsia have a deficiency in certain vitamins and researchers believe this could be the cause of the problem.
Pre-eclampsia occurs in about one in 10 pregnancies and is more common in first and twin pregnancies and in women with a history of the condition. It causes damage to the blood vessels and can lead to fits, stroke or damage to the lungs, liver or kidney in the mother and slow growth or the death of the baby. About eight million cases of pre-eclampsia occur globally each year.
The two-year project follows an earlier pilot study that suggested that taking the supplement could halve the risk of pre-eclampsia in high-risk women.
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