This case-control study was conducted in Lima, Peru, from June 1997 through January 1998 to assess whether plasma concentrations of carotenoids (α-carotene, β-carotene, lycopene, lutein, zeaxanthin, βcryptoxanthin), retinol, and tocopherols (α-tocopherol and γ-tocopherol) are decreased in women with preeclampsia. A total of 125 pregnant women with preeclampsia and 179 normotensive pregnant women were included. Plasma concentrations of antioxidants were determined using high performance liquid chromatography. After adjusting for maternal demographic, behavioral, and reproductive characteristics and total plasma lipid concentrations, the authors found a linear increase in risk of preeclampsia with increasing concentrations of α-tocopherol (odds ratio of the highest quartile = 3.13; 95% confidence interval: 1.06, 9.23, with the lowest quartile as the reference group; p value of the test of linear trend = 0.040). The risk of preeclampsia decreased across increasing quartiles of concentrations for retinol (odds ratio of the highest quartile = 0.32; 95% confidence interval: 0.15, 0.69, with the lowest quartile as the reference group; p value of the test of linear trend = 0.001). Some of these results are inconsistent with the prevailing hypothesis that preeclampsia is an antioxidant-deficient state. Preliminary findings confirm an earlier observation of increased plasma concentrations of α-tocopherol among women with preeclampsia as compared with normotensive pregnant women.
Zhang, C., Williams, M. A., Sanchez, S. E., King, I. B., Ware-Jauregui, S., Larrabure, G., Bazul, V., & Leisenring, W. M. (2001). Plasma concentrations of carotenoids, retinol, and tocopherols in preeclamptic and normotensive pregnant women. American Journal of Epidemiology, 572-580. https://doi.org/10.1093/aje/153.6.572