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Systematic Review with Meta-Analysis
Calcium supplementation during pregnancy reduces risk of high blood pressure, pre-eclampsia and premature birth compared with placebo?
  1. Baha M Sibai
  1. Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
  1. Correspondence to Baha M Sibai
    231 Albert Sabin Way, Cincinnati, OH 45267-0526, USA; baha.sibai{at}

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The effect of dietary calcium supplementation during pregnancy on hypertensive disorders (HDP) and related problems has been the subject of numerous randomised trials.1 2 The results of these trials were inconsistent and inconclusive. This is not surprising considering that the trials differ in the populations studied (variable rates of HDP, pre-eclampsia), gestational age at enrolment (13–32 weeks), sample size in each group (22–4161) and definition of the reported outcomes. These trials were the subject of two recent reviews that reached different conclusions about the benefits of calcium supplementation during pregnancy.1 2


This study was a systematic review of 13 randomised trials comparing calcium supplementation versus placebo during pregnancy. The data source was the Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Groups Trials Register, plus some study authors were contacted. Inclusion criteria were pregnant women at low or average risk and those considered at above-average risk for HDP; women were also stratified on the basis of low baseline dietary calcium intake (<900 mg/day) or adequate intake …

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  • Competing interests BMS has served as a consultant for Roche Diagnostics, Alere Home Health Care.