Journal Article

Risk of Gestational Hypertension in Relation to Folic Acid Supplementation during Pregnancy

Sonia Hernández-Díaz, Martha M. Werler, Carol Louik and Allen A. Mitchell

in American Journal of Epidemiology

Published on behalf of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Volume 156, issue 9, pages 806-812
Published in print November 2002 | ISSN: 0002-9262
Published online November 2002 | e-ISSN: 1476-6256 | DOI:
Risk of Gestational Hypertension in Relation to Folic Acid Supplementation during Pregnancy

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The authors investigated the association between folic acid supplementation and gestational hypertension. The study population included women with nonmalformed infants in the United States and Canada who were participating in the Slone Epidemiology Center Birth Defects Study between 1993 and 2000. Women were interviewed within 6 months after delivery about sociodemographic and medical factors, the occurrence of hypertension with or without preeclampsia, and multivitamin use in pregnancy. Relative risks, adjusted for weight, parity, twin pregnancy, diabetes, smoking, education, and family income, were estimated using Cox regression models. Of 2,100 women, 204 (9.7%) reported gestational hypertension (onset after the 20th week of gestation). The multivariate-adjusted relative risk of developing gestational hypertension during the month after folic acid supplementation, compared with not using folic acid during that same month, was 0.55 (95% confidence interval: 0.39, 0.79). This finding suggests that folic acid-containing multivitamins may reduce the risk of gestational hypertension.

Keywords: folic acid; hypertension; pre-eclampsia; pregnancy; vitamins; Abbreviations: CI, confidence interval; RR, relative risk.

Journal Article.  4067 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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