Author: Onyegbule Onyema Athanatius
Department: Chemical Pathology
Affiliation: Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka

Preeclampsia with its complications remains major causes of maternal morbidity and mortality. Despite numerous studies, the exact etiology of pre-eclampsia has not been fully elucidated. Some recent studies have noted that changes in the levels of serum minerals can have adverse effect in human and animal pregnancy. Serum levels of calcium, magnesium, copper, zinc, uric acid and creatinine were measured in 54 women with pre eclampsia of pregnancy, and in 48 healthy normotensive pregnant women with similar maternal and gestational ages as control group. Data on body mass index, maternal ages, parity, were collected and compared between the two groups. The data was coded, computed and analyzed using SPSS version 17. Student’s t-test, Analysis of variants (ANOVA, Pearson moment product correlation and Chi square were used where appropriate. A P-value of <0.05 was considered significant. The mean systolic blood pressure for patients who had no preeclampsia, and patients who had pre-eclampsia were 113.33 ±19.17 versus 174.63 ± 27.45 while their diastolic blood pressure were 71.67 ± 9.07 versus 111.48 ± 13.65 with a mean arterial pressure of 85.56 ±9.04 and 132.53 ±15.65 respectively. The mean systolic, diastolic and arterial blood pressures were significantly higher in pre-eclamptics compared to non preeclamptic women. The mean arterial blood pressure for pre-eclamptics and non preeclamptics were 132.53 ± 15.65 and 85.56 ± 9.03 respectively. The levels of the serum minerals were significantly higher in non pre-eclamptics compared to pre-eclamptics. Copper: 16.62 ± 3.17 versus 8.14±1.80 (P<0.001), Zinc: 12.60 ±1.83 versus 8.27± 0.60, Calcium: 9.17 ± 0.58 versus 7.48 ± 0.74, (P<0.001), Magnesium: 13.19 ± 9.8 versus 9.81 ± 0.70 (P<0.001) Enzyme activities were significantly higher in pre-eclamptic women than in non pre-eclamptics women: Aspartate transaminase: 25.44 ± 3.00 vs 12.60 ± 3.06 versus (P<0.001), Alanine transminase: 28.78 ± 2.25 versus 13.67 ± 4.18 (P<0.001). Creatinine and uric acid concentrations were also significantly higher in pre-eclamptics than in non preclamptics; Creatinine: 137.43 ±27.81 versus 81.54 ±7.27 (P<0.001), Uric acid 445.65 ± 35.22 versus 246.98 ± 61.37, (P<0.001).The findings of this study showed that levels of serum minerals were significantly reduced in pre-eclamptic women when compared to the normotensive group. Dietary supplementation with these minerals may help to prevent preeclampsia, at least in susceptible women.

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