Original Research – Quantitative| Volume 31, ISSUE 2, e77-e83, April 2018

Folic acid supplement use and the risk of gestational hypertension and preeclampsia

Published:September 01, 2017DOI:



      Hypertensive disorders of pregnancy are among the leading causes of maternal morbidity and mortality. Studies suggest that the use of folic acid may lower the risk of hypertensive disorders in pregnant women.


      The aim of this study was to assess the effects of timing and duration of folic acid-containing supplement use on the risk for gestational hypertension and preeclampsia.


      Exposures and outcomes data were obtained through interviews and review of participant’s medical records from the MotherToBaby cohort studies across the United States and Canada. Demographics, medical history, lifestyle factors, substance use, and fetal sex were assessed as potential confounders. Unadjusted and adjusted risks for gestational hypertension and preeclampsia were examined using odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals.


      3247 women were included in the study. Compared to non-supplement use, early and late supplement use were not significantly associated with the development of gestational hypertension or preeclampsia. The odds of developing gestational hypertension and preeclampsia were significantly reduced as the duration of folic acid-containing supplement use increased.


      Findings from this study suggest that the use of folic acid-containing supplements may mitigate the risk for gestational hypertension and preeclampsia.


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