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Selenium and preeclampsia: A global perspective

Elsevier B.V.
DOI: 10.1016/j.preghy.2011.07.001
  • Preeclampsia
  • Selenium
  • Global Nutrition


Abstract Preeclampsia is a complex multisystem disorder of pregnancy where oxidative stress plays an important aetiological role. The role of selenium in the synthesis of endogenous antioxidants is well documented, and a significant reduction in selenium has been reported in preeclamptic women. The objective of this study was to map global selenium status and preeclampsia incidence. This study identified peer reviewed journal articles reporting national preeclampsia incidence (%) and matched these with reported values of selenium intake and plasma/serum selenium concentrations (μg/L). Matched data were obtained for 45 regions, reporting 6456,570 births, spanning Europe, Asia, Australasia, Africa, North and South America. Increasing plasma selenium concentration was found to be correlated with a reduction in preeclampsia incidence (Pearson’s r=−0.604, P<0.0001). Countries with a reported serum/plasma selenium level of ⩾95μg/L were considered selenium sufficient and a significant reduction in preeclampsia incidence for countries above this value (P=0.0007) was noted. Significant reductions in preeclampsia incidence were found to coincide with increases in plasma/serum selenium concentration in the New Zealand (P=0.0003) and Finland (0.0028) populations following Government intervention. This study supports the hypothesis that selenium supplementation may be beneficial in reducing oxidative stress in women at risk of preeclampsia.

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