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Clinical trial launched to research the benefits of taking folic acid during pregnancy

August 18, 2014

Drs. Mark Walker and Shi-Wu Wen have launched a clinical trial to evaluate the effectiveness of folic acid in preventing preeclampsia in pregnant women. Preeclampsia affects about five per cent of pregnant women worldwide, and is characterized by high blood pressure and leakage of protein into the urine. Preeclampsia is responsible for one-third of all pregnancy-related deaths worldwide. Currently, the only way to cure preeclampsia is to deliver a baby – which often happens weeks before the due date resulting in preterm births. Now, Drs. Walker and Wen will test whether high doses of folic acid administered throughout a pregnancy in women at high risk for preeclampsia can prevent this disease from developing in an international, multi-centre, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial involving 3,656 women, funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). The doctors believe that their trial will provide solid scientific rationale for the use of high doses of folic acid during pregnancy. They are also eager to explore whether taking folic acid during pregnancy has long-term impacts on the health of women and their babies. Read about the clinical trial.

>> See article in International Innovation.

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