The Association Between Daily 500 mg Calcium Supplementation and Lower Pregnancy-induced Hypertension Risk in Bangladesh
This is a research article that was published in BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth in 2018. The study focused on the correlation between the use of calcium supplements and the blood pressure of pregnant women. It assessed how different durations of calcium supplementation affected pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH). The study was a retrospective cohort design. It consisted of 11,387 participants who gave birth during a November 2016 to May 2017 time-period. Information about the pregnant mothers was obtained from the community health workers who worked in the maternal nutrition initiative program. This program was implemented by Building Resources Across Communities. The workers were tasked with delivering calcium supplements to the pregnant mothers, educating the mothers on nutrition and prenatal care, and assessing their blood pressure each month. The duration of calcium supplementation was based on the gestational age at the first visit. The level of calcium tablet consumption was classified into three categories: 500 mg/day for more than 6 months, 500 mg/day for 3-6 months, and 500 mg/day for less than 3 months. (Khanam, Hossain, Mistry, Mitra, 2018) Blood pressure was measured by a sphygmomanometer at enrollment and at each follow-up visit. Two measurements were taken at each visit. Pregnancy-induced hypertension was classified as a systolic pressure equal or greater to 140 mmHg and a diastolic pressure equal to or greater than 90 mmHg at any visit after 20 weeks of gestation if the mother was normotensive prior to pregnancy. Different lifestyle factors such as age, occupation, number of living children, and household type were also taken into consideration. Fifty-seven percent of the women were between 20 and 29, ninety-nine percent of the women were housewives, seventy-six percent of the women had at least one child, and forty-six percent were from poor households. Khanam et al. “found that a total of 19.8% women consumed more than 90 tablets (500 mg/d calcium tablets for less than 3 months), while 66.0% consumed 90–179 tablets (500 mg/d calcium tablets for 3–6 months) and 14.2% consumed 180 or more tablets (500 mg/d calcium tablets for more than 6 months).” (2018) “In the present study, we found that 500 mg/d calcium tablets consumption for 180 days or more during pregnancy was associated with lower increase in mean BP. Also, the risk of hypertension was 45% lower among those women.” (Khanam et al., 2018)
The mother that I had was diagnosed with gestational hypertension for two of her pregnancies. She was induced at 37 weeks both times. Her admission was due to her fainting because her blood pressure escalated. While I was not able to determine the calcium level of the mother, I believe that this article relates to her because a calcium supplementation may have benefitted her. With a calcium supplementation, she may have been able to delay or prevent being induced. As the results showed, a calcium supplementation proves to have a positive effect on the blood pressure of pregnant women. I understand that this correlation needs to be further researched and tested. Upon this further researching and testing, if the positive correlation holds to be true this could be a turning point for pregnancy-induced hypertension.
Khanam, F., Hossain, B., Mistry, S. K., Mitra, D. K., Raza, W. A., Rifat, M., . . . Rahman, M. (2018). The association between daily 500 mg calcium supplementation and lower pregnancy-induced hypertension risk in Bangladesh. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth,18(1). doi:10.1186/s12884-018-2046-0