Aspirin reduces rate of preeclampsia among at-risk pregnant women

Researchers report that treatment of at-risk pregnant women with low-dose aspirin (150 mg) resulted in  a significant reduction in pre-term preeclampsia.

The findings were presented on June 28, 2017 at the 16th FMF World Congress in Fetal Medicine in Ljubljana, Slovenia, and published simultaneously in the NEJM/New England Journal of Medicine.

Investigator professor David Wright, of the department of medical statistics at the University of Exeter (UK) Medical School, said, “”Over the last ten years, we have developed new methods for assessing the risk of preeclampsia. We have applied these to identify women for inclusion in the ASPRE trial. The results show that aspirin can prevent preeclampsia in high risk pregnancies. I hope that they will alter clinical practice and improve pregnancy outcomes for mothers and their babies.”

In the double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, the investigators compared aspirin at a dose of 150 mg per day with placebo, administered from 11 to 14 weeks of gestation until 36 weeks of gestation in women who were at high risk for preterm preeclampsia.

Eligibility for enrollment in the trial included age 18 or older, singleton pregnancy, live fetus at the time that scanning was performed at 11 to 13 weeks of gestation, and a high risk (>1 in 100) for preterm preeclampsia according to the screening algorithm.

Subjects (n=1776) were randomized in a 1:1 ratio to receive either aspirin or placebo.

The investigators reported a lower incidence of pre-term preeclampsia among subjects taking aspirin than those taking a placebo. Pre-term preeclampsia appeared in 13 subjects (1.6%) in the aspirin group and 35 (4.3%) in the placebo group, a statistically significant difference (p=0.004).

Professor Kypros Nicolaides, Director of Harris Birthright Research Centre for Fetal Medicine at King’s College London (UK) and an investigator in the study, said, “This extensive study is definitive proof that women can take simple measures in the first trimester of pregnancy to significantly reduce their chances of developing pre-term preeclampsia.”