Friday Dec 23 2022
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Mediterranean diet could lower risk of preeclampsia during pregnancy

Web Desk
Image shows a Chicken & Pine Nut Salad. — Unsplash
Image shows a Chicken & Pine Nut Salad. — Unsplash

According to a study, pregnant women who follow the well-known Mediterranean diet had a lower risk of developing a fatal pregnancy illness.

The risk of preeclampsia in women who followed the diet was found to be reduced by 28%, according to Cedars-Sinai Hospital researchers in Los Angeles, California.

One in 14 pregnant women is affected by the illness, including Kim Kardashian and Mariah Carey. It happens when a pregnant woman has extremely high blood pressure, which damages her kidneys and liver.

Doctors and nutritionists alike have hailed Mediterranean diets for their capacity to prevent heart and brain problems as well as improve overall health.

The study used information from 7,798 women and was published on Thursday in JAMA Network Open.

During their first trimester, participants who were expecting their first child were invited to fill out a meal frequency questionnaire.

The questionnaire asked the ladies to answer questions about their eating patterns in the three months before their visit as well as their consumption of common foods and beverages.

"We also looked at the individual components of the Mediterranean diet and found higher intakes of vegetables, legumes, and seafood were related to the decreased associated risk of an unfavourable pregnancy outcome," said Dr Bello, director of Hypertension Research at Cedars-Sinai.

The results demonstrated that a high Mediterranean diet score was associated with a 21% decreased risk of experiencing any unfavourable pregnancy outcomes.

In particular, it was linked to a 37% lower risk of gestational diabetes and a 28% lower risk of preeclampsia.

The diet is an "essential lifestyle approach," according to Professor Christine Albert, chair of the Department of Cardiology, to prevent unfavourable pregnancy outcomes.

This may be beneficial for pregnant women over the age of 35 in particular.

These findings, according to Prof. Albert, "additionally support the growing body of research showing that the Mediterranean-style diet may have a significant role in sustaining the health of women across the lifetime, particularly during pregnancy."

Long-term studies are required, according to Dr Bello, to determine whether encouraging a Mediterranean-style diet during pregnancy and around the time of conception will avoid pregnancy problems and lower future cardiovascular risk.

Around the world, up to 8% of pregnant women suffer from preeclampsia. In the US, it is thought to be the cause of 15% of premature births. Each year, it causes 500,000 infant deaths and about 76,000 maternal fatalities.