Aspirin Could Reduce Your Preeclampsia Risk, According to a New Study

A low daily dose of aspirin could reduce your risk of developing preeclampsia, a dangerous pregnancy complication. Is this something you should consider?

pregnant woman preeclampsia Feelkoy/Shutterstock
Preeclampsia is a dangerous complication that can rear its ugly head during pregnancy—and if you're concerned about your risk of developing it, chances are you're seeking a simple, safe solution that'll reduce your odds.

Well, it looks like you may have found it: According to new research, a daily low dose of aspirin can reduce a woman's preeclampsia risk. The study appears in the New England Journal of Medicine and is based on a trial involving a group of 1776 pregnant women at risk for preeclampsia—and it's not the first to suggest this effect.

Daily aspirin use could bring down a woman's risk of pre-term preeclampsia (which involves giving birth before 37 weeks gestation) by 62 percent and provide an 82 percent reduction to a woman's risk of early preeclampsia (which involves delivery before 34 weeks).

The women sampled in the trials were given 150 mg a day of aspirin from between weeks 11 and 14 of pregnancy up until they reached 36 weeks. 

"Over the last 10 years, we have developed new methods for assessing the risk of preeclampsia. We have applied these to identify women for inclusion in the 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," researcher David Wright said, according to a release for the study.

But does this mean all pregnant women should be taking daily doses of aspirin? Not necessarily. You should discuss this with your doctor before starting any course of treatment—and this may not even be necessary for women who don't have risk factors for preeclampsia (which include family history of the condition, obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure). But this study adds to the list of evidence that aspirin may bring down preeclampsia risk—and for at-risk women, it may be worth considering.