Low aspirin doses can help mums-to-be
Taking low doses of aspirin in early pregnancy and calcium supplements in the latter stages can help prevent the onset of pre-eclampsia in mothers at risk of the condition, research has found.
Women in "low-intake populations" can reduce the chances of pre-eclampsia developing by taking low doses of aspirin before 16 weeks, and also calcium supplements after 20 weeks, the report published in The Obstetrician & Gynaecologist found.
It is also possible to assess a woman's risk of developing pre-eclampsia from as early as 11 weeks of pregnancy, say the authors.
Pre-eclampsia affects around 3-5pc of pregnancies and accounts for more than 50,000 maternal deaths worldwide every year.
It is characterised by a combination of raised blood pressure and protein in the urine, and can lead to complications including stroke and eclampsia - life-threatening seizures-as well as multiple-organ failure.