Annals of internal medicine

Low-dose aspirin for prevention of morbidity and mortality from preeclampsia: a systematic evidence review for the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.

PMID 24711050


Preeclampsia is a leading cause of maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality. To systematically review benefits and harms of low-dose aspirin for preventing morbidity and mortality from preeclampsia. MEDLINE, Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects, PubMed, and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (January 2006 to June 2013); previous systematic reviews, clinical trial registries, and surveillance searches for large studies (June 2013 to February 2014). Randomized, controlled trials (RCTs) to assess benefits among women at high preeclampsia risk and RCTs or large cohort studies of harms among women at any risk level. English-language studies of fair or good quality were included. Dual quality assessment and abstraction of studies. Two large, multisite RCTs and 13 smaller RCTs of high-risk women (8 good-quality) were included, in addition to 6 RCTs and 2 observational studies of average-risk women to assess harms (7 good-quality). Depending on baseline risk, aspirin use was associated with absolute risk reductions of 2% to 5% for preeclampsia (relative risk [RR], 0.76 [95% CI, 0.62 to 0.95]), 1% to 5% for intrauterine growth restriction (RR, 0.80 [CI, 0.65 to 0.99]), and 2% to 4% for preterm birth (RR, 0.86 [CI, 0.76 to 0.98]). No significant perinatal or maternal harms were identified, but rare harms could not be ruled out. Evidence on long-term outcomes was sparse, but 18-month follow-up from the largest trial found no developmental harms. Benefits may have been overestimated due to small-study effects. Predictive intervals were not statistically significant. Future studies could shift findings toward the null. Daily low-dose aspirin beginning as early as the second trimester prevented clinically important health outcomes. No harms were identified, but long-term evidence was limited.