Author(s): Herrera JA, Chaudhuri G, LpezJaramillo P
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Abstract Recently in an open population-based program composed of 15 354 pregnant women in Colombia we applied a biopsychosocial risk model, which permitted us to identify pregnant women at high risk of preeclampsia. 1443 (9.4\%) of patients at high risk for developing preeclampsia received 450 mg of linoleic acid, and 1.5 g/day of calcium. Bacteriuria was identified in 1766 (11.5\%) and vaginal infections in 2150 (14.0\%) of the pregnant women. These women received oral antibiotics for 10 days. The incidence of low birthweight, preterm delivery and preeclampsia were reduced by 53\% (6.2\% vs 13.2\%), 64.7\% (1.8\% vs 5.1\%), and 52.5\% (3.8\% vs 8.0\%) respectively, when compared with the incidence of the preceding five years. We believe that these dramatic reductions were due to early identification of risk factors, administration of nutritional supplements and principally by treatment of asymptomatic infections. Unfortunately, because of the study design it is not possible to confirm that infection was the major risk factor for preeclampsia in our population. However, we hypothesize that chronic subclinical infections may cause increased maternal cytokine levels sufficient to affect vascular endothelial function, and so prime individuals for the subsequent development of preeclampsia. This hypothesis can be tested in a more appropriately designed clinical trial to assess whether there is a relationship between infection, inflammation and preeclampsia. Copyright 2001 Harcourt Publishers Ltd.
This article was published in Med Hypotheses
and referenced in Tropical Medicine & Surgery