Preeclampsia or pregnancy-induced hypertension is a major cause of both maternal and fetal-neonatal morbidity and mortality. The deficiency of vitamin E can cause accumulation of lipid peroxidation products, which, in turn, can induce vasoconstriction. This study has examined any evidence of increased cellular lipid peroxidation and accumulation of malonydialdehyde (MDA, an end product of lipid peroxidation) in pregnancy-induced hypertension and any relationship between the elevated MDA and lower vitamin E levels with hypertension in pregnant women. EDTA-Blood was collected from pregnant women at the time of delivery. Plasma vitamin E was determined by HPLC; MDA by the thiobarbituric acid-reactivity.
Subjects with diastolic blood pressure(DBP) 90 mm Hg were considered hypertensive (HT) and with <90 mm Hg normotensive (NT). Data (Mean±SE) from 49 NT and 11 HT women show that HT has significantly lower vitamin E (22±1 vs 27±1 nmole/ml, p<0.03) and elevated MDA levels (0.56±0.06 vs 0.43±0.02 nmole/ml, p<0.03) compared to NT; the ages and gestational ages of women were similar. Among all women, there was a significant positive relationship between DBP and MDA levels (r=0.27, p<0.05), and a significant negative relationship between vitamin E levels and DBP (–0.36, p<0.005), and a significant negative relationship between MDA and vitamin E levels (r=–0.27, p<0.05).
Thus, HT women's plasma has significantly lower E and higher MDA levels, and DBP significantly correlates with the extent of vitamin E deficiency and increased MDA levels. This study suggests a relationship between elevated lipid peroxidation and lower vitamin E levels and hypertension in pregnancy (preeclampsia).