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OBJECTIVE: To assess the effectiveness and safety of antiplatelet drugs for prevention of pre-eclampsia and its consequences. DESIGN: Systematic review. DATA SOURCES: Register of trials maintained by Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group, Cochrane Controlled Trials Register, and Embase. INCLUDED STUDIES: Randomised trials involving women at risk of pre-eclampsia, and its complications, allocated to antiplatelet drug(s) versus placebo or no antiplatelet drug. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Pre-eclampsia, preterm birth, fetal or neonatal death, and small for gestational age baby. Studies were assessed for quality of concealment of allocation and losses to follow up. RESULTS: 39 trials (30 563 women) were included, and 45 trials (>3000 women) excluded. Use of antiplatelet drugs was associated with a 15% reduction in the risk of pre-eclampsia (32 trials, 29 331 women; relative risk 0.85, 95% confidence interval 0.78 to 0.92; number needed to treat 100, 59 to 167). There was also an 8% reduction in the risk of preterm birth (23 trials, 28 268 women; 0.92, 0.88 to 0.97; 72, 44 to 200), and a 14% reduction in the risk of fetal or neonatal death (30 trials, 30 093 women; 0.86, 0.75 to 0.98; 250, 125 to >10 000) for women allocated antiplatelet drugs. Small for gestational age babies were reported in 25 trials (20 349 women), with no overall difference between the groups (relative risk 0.92, 0.84 to 1.01). There were no significant differences in other measures of outcome. CONCLUSIONS: Antiplatelet drugs, largely low dose aspirin, have small to moderate benefits when used for prevention of pre-eclampsia.

Type

Journal article

Journal

Bmj

Publication Date

10/02/2001

Volume

322

Pages

329 - 333

Keywords

Aspirin, Female, Fetal Death, Humans, Infant, Newborn, Obstetric Labor, Premature, Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors, Pre-Eclampsia, Pregnancy, Pregnancy Outcome, Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic