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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Physicians should stop recommending low doses of aspirin for patients at risk for the pregnancy complication preeclampsia, a University of Tennessee researcher said Wednesday.

 Dr. Baha Sibai, a UT-Memphis physician, said results of a study published in the March 12 edition of the New England Journal of Medicine indicate low doses of aspirin do not help prevent preeclampsia.

 “There is no benefit,” said Sibai, a co-author of the study. “If there is no benefit, you shouldn’t give it because there are risks with giving any medicine during pregnancy.”

 Preeclampsia is a toxic condition that can result in preterm birth, infants small for gestational age, or perinatal death.

 Sibai said earlier studies, starting in 1985, suggested low doses of aspirin might reduce the risk of preeclampsia, leading many obstetricians to give the medicine.

 “This became a common practice in obstetrics,” Sibai said. “But the problem was the studies did not include women at very high risk of preeclampsia.”

 The latest study was based on more than 2,500 pregnant women, all at high risk for the complication, Sibai said.


 Contact: Dr. Baha Sabai (901-448-5660)