Aspirin Use to Prevent Preeclampsia (PE):
Several clinical studies have reported that aspirin treatment of women at high risk for PE reduces the risk of developing the disease by approximately 10% to 23%. In addition, for women at high risk for PE, aspirin treatment reduces the risk of preterm birth and intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR). Moreover, recent practice guidelines from the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommend the use of low-dose aspirin (81mg/day) after 12 weeks of pregnancy in women at high risk of PE.
Women are considered to be at high-risk for PE if one or more of the following risk factors are present:
- History of preeclampsia, especially if accompanied by a poor outcome
- Multifetal gestation (pregnant with more than one baby)
- Chronic hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Diabetes (Type 1 or Type 2)
- Kidney disease
- Autoimmune disease
It is important to note the following when considering the use of low dose aspirin during pregnancy:
- Although studies tend to suggest that low-dose aspirin treatment may reduce the risk of PE in women at high risk of the disease, the magnitude of the effect is difficult to define with precision.
- Studies have suggested that low-dose aspirin treatment was associated with no significant perinatal or maternal harm, however, one cannot rule out a rare harm associated with the use of aspirin.
- The main audience for the use of aspirin is women with the above-mentioned risk factors. In addition, taking aspirin does not necessarily guarantee that a pregnant woman will not develop preeclampsia.
- One should not start an aspirin regimen without first discussing it with their healthcare provider.