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Ann Epidemiol. 2010 Aug;20(8):584-91. doi: 10.1016/j.annepidem.2010.05.010.

Does chocolate intake during pregnancy reduce the risks of preeclampsia and gestational hypertension?

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  • 1Department of Epidemiology, University of Iowa College of Public Health, Iowa City, USA.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Chocolate consumption is associated with favorable levels of blood pressure and other cardiovascular disease risk markers. We analyzed a prospective cohort study to determine whether regular chocolate intake during pregnancy is associated with reduced risks of preeclampsia and gestational hypertension (GH).

METHODS:

Subjects were recruited from 13 prenatal care practices in Connecticut (1988-1991). In-person interviews were administered at <16 weeks' gestation to ascertain risk factors for adverse pregnancy outcomes. Hospital delivery and prenatal records were abstracted to classify preeclampsia (n = 58), GH (n = 158), and normotensive pregnancies (n = 2351). Chocolate consumption (servings/week) during the first and third trimesters was ascertained at initial interview and immediately postpartum, respectively. Consumers of less than 1 serving/week comprised the referent group. Adjusted odds ratios (aORs) were estimated by the use of logistic regression.

RESULTS:

Chocolate intake was more frequent among normotensive (80.7%) than preeclamptic (62.5%) or GH women (75.8%), and associated with reduced odds of preeclampsia (first trimester: aOR, 0.55; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 0.32-0.95; third trimester: aOR, 0.56; 95% CI, 0.32-0.97). Only first trimester intake was associated with reduced odds of GH (aOR,0.65; 95% CI, 0.45-0.87).

CONCLUSIONS:

These findings provide additional evidence of the benefits of chocolate. Prospective studies are needed to confirm and delineate protective effects of chocolate intake on risk of preeclampsia.

PMID:
20609337
PMCID:
PMC2901253
DOI:
10.1016/j.annepidem.2010.05.010
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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