Serum calcium level as a marker of pregnancy-induced hypertension
Background: Regulation of intracellular calcium plays a key role in hypertension. Hypertension has been estimated to complicate 5% of all pregnancies and 11% of first pregnancies. Half of the pregnant women with hypertension have pre-eclampsia. Hypertensive disorders account for up to 40 000 maternal deaths annually. Objective: To compare total serum calcium levels in pregnant women complicated with pre-eclampsia with those in normotensive control. Patients and Methods: This is a case-control hospital based study carried out at Omdurman Maternity Hospital, Khartoum Teaching Hospital, and Khartoum North Teaching Hospital in Khartoum State, Sudan in the period from October 2006 to June 2007. One hundred thirty-five women were enrolled in this study. 90 women with pregnancy - induced hypertension (PIH) admitted after 20th week of pregnancy represented the study group. Forty five women with normal pregnancy, at same age; same gestational age were selected as control group. Results: The mean (±SD) serum calcium of the study group was 8.38±1.04 mg/dl, while that of the control group was 9.04±1.13mg/dl (P= 0.001). Conclusion: Low level of maternal total calcium may have a role in the development PIH. Therefore calcium consumption in pregnancy should be encouraged. Calcium supplement is recommended for women who live in places of low socioeconomic status as well as for women who prefer to skip milk and milk products due to personal preference.
Keywords: calcium, pre-eclampsia, calcium supplementation, pregnancy
Sudan Journal of Medical Sciences Vol. 2 (4) 2007: pp. 245-248
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