Antioxidant status of hypertensive pregnant Nigerian women and its effects on birth weight 

By Asaolu, M. Fisayo, Asaolu, S. Sunday, Fakunle, J. Bayode 


A study was conducted to evaluate the antioxidant status in hypertensive pregnancies compared with healthy normal pregnant and non-pregnant controls.  All of them were evaluated for plasma non-enzymatic antioxidants (albumin, uric acid, carotene, glutathione, vitamin A, vitamin E and vitamin C) and antioxidant enzymes (Superoxide dismutase (SOD), Glutathione peroxidase and Catalase).  The birthweights of babies from hypertensive pregnancies were also compared with that of normotensive pregnancies.  It was observed that there was a significant decrease (P<0.05) in the activities of the antioxidant enzyme (except catalase) and the concentration of the non enzymatic antioxidants (except uric acid and vitamin E) in all the groups studied.  Birthweights of babies of pregnant women with hypertension were found to be significantly lower (P<0.05) than that of normal controls.  These results demonstrate that there is an imbalance between lipid peroxidation in hypertensive pregnancies and decreased antioxidant levels which may reflect an increased activity of free radicals.  The data suggest that alterations in the plasma concentration of free radicals may have a causative function in reduction of plasma concentration of antioxidants, hence the involvement of antioxidants in the etiopathogenesis of hypertensive pregnancies. 


Key Words : Etiopathogenesis, Lipid Peroxidation, Antioxidants, Free Radicals. 


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