Chinese Medical Journal 1995;108(1):57-59
Calcium supplementation during pregnancy for reducing pregnancy induced hypertension.

Pregnancy induced hypertension (PIH) is a common complication in pregnancy and prenatal stage. Because the direct and indirect relationship between low calcium intake and many diseases, such as rachitis, young age myopia and hypertension, calcium supplementation has been a hot topic among nutritionists. Randomized trials of calcium supplementation during pregnancy were conducted in 212 healthy primipara. They were divided into 4 groups and gave 120mg, 240mg, 1g or 2g of calcium daily from 20 to 28 wks of gestation up to delivery respectively. As a result, the incidence of PIH was 8.9%, 7.5%, 8% and 4% respectively in these groups. The control group (106 pregnant women) who did not receive calcium gave an incidence of 18%. Supplementation of 2g of calcium daily showed significant results in lowering the incidence of PIH (P < 0.05) without any adverse effects. In 1992 calcium supplementation was widely used in antenatal-clinic. 200 cases with intake of 2g calcium were compared with corresponding non-calcium supplementation cases, and the incidence of PIH was 7.5% and 16.5% (P < 0.005) respectively. Mediating parathyroid hormone and renin activity are thought to be the effect of calcium on decreasing the incidence of PIH.