Hyperuricemia Linked to Poor Maternal-Fetal Outcomes

(HealthDay News) – During pregnancy, elevated plasma uric acid levels are associated with an increased risk of adverse fetal and maternal outcomes in women with preeclampsia or benign gestational hypertension, according to an article published in the March issue of BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology.

T. Lee-Ann Hawkins, MD, of the University of Calgary in Canada, and colleagues conducted a retrospective review of 1,880 pregnant women with either benign gestational hypertension or preeclampsia to examine the association between plasma uric acid, hemoglobin, or hematocrit levels and maternal and fetal outcomes. Benign hypertension was defined as having hypertension but without proteinuria or other signs or symptoms of preeclampsia.

The researchers found that gestation-corrected hyperuricemia in women with benign gestational hypertension was associated with a 2.5-fold increased risk of small-for-gestational-age infants and a 3.2-fold higher risk of prematurity; but no increased risk of adverse maternal outcome. For all women with hypertension (preeclampsia or gestational hypertension), the risk of both adverse maternal and fetal outcomes increased with increasing plasma uric acid concentration (odds ratios for adverse maternal outcome and adverse fetal outcome, 2 and 1.8, respectively). Gestation-corrected hyperuricemia strengthened these associations. Neither hematocrit nor hemoglobin were associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes in either patient population.

“Our data suggest that the presence of hyperuricemia, but not elevated hemoglobin or hematocrit, identifies a population of hypertensive pregnant women at increased risk of adverse maternal and fetal outcome,” the authors write.

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