Biological Trace Element Research

, Volume 152, Issue 2, pp 174–179

A Prospective Study of Selenium Concentration and Risk of Preeclampsia in Pregnant Iranian Women: a Nested Case–Control Study


  • Seyede Zahra Ghaemi
    • Department of Midwifery, Estahban branchIslamic Azad University
  • Sedighe Forouhari
    • Shiraz Infertility Research CenterShiraz University of Medical Sciences
    • Shiraz Endocrinology and Metabolism Research CenterShiraz University of Medical Sciences
  • Mehrab Sayadi
    • Shiraz University of Medical Sciences
  • Marzieh Bakhshayeshkaram
    • Endocrine and Metabolism Research CenterShiraz University of Medical Sciences
  • Faride Vaziri
    • Department of Midwifery, School of Nursing and Midwifery Hazrat Fatemeh (P.B.U.H)Shiraz University of Medical Sciences
  • Zohreh Tavana
    • Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyShiraz University of Medical Sciences

DOI: 10.1007/s12011-013-9614-y

Cite this article as:
Ghaemi, S.Z., Forouhari, S., Dabbaghmanesh, M.H. et al. Biol Trace Elem Res (2013) 152: 174. doi:10.1007/s12011-013-9614-y


Preeclampsia remains a leading cause of maternal and perinatal mortality and morbidity worldwide; however, its specific etiology still remains obscure. Some studies implicate poor maternal selenium status predisposing the mother to preeclampsia. This study was designed to determine changes in plasma selenium levels in women having preeclampsia as compared with those with normal pregnancy. In a nested case–control study, 650 normal primigravida in their first 24–28 weeks participated in the study. After 3 months of follow-up of all subjects, blood selenium levels were measured in 38 women presenting consecutively with preeclampsia and in 38 women having a normal pregnancy by atomic absorption spectrophotometry. Birth outcomes were recorded, such as gestational age at delivery, height, weight, birth head circumflex and 1-min Apgar score. Preeclampsia affects about 5.84 % of pregnancies, and in our study, there were no significant differences in age, anthropometric indices, and family history of preeclampsia between the preeclamptic and control groups. The selenium concentrations in plasma in women with preeclampsia were significantly lower as compared with those in women with normal pregnancy (70.63 ± 21.41 versus 82.03 ± 15.54 μg/L, p < 0.05). Being in the bottom tertile of selenium concentration (less than 62.2 μg/L) was associated with greater risk of preeclampsia in pregnant women. The reduced selenium in the maternal circulations observed in the preeclamptic mothers support the hypothesis that insufficient selenium concentration may be a contributing factor to the pathophysiological mechanisms associated with preeclampsia, and optimizing the dietary selenium intake through supplementation could produce demonstrable clinical benefits.


PreeclampsiaPlasma selenium levelsPrimigravidaBirth outcomes

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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013