Biological Trace Element Research

, Volume 171, Issue 2, pp 283–292 | Cite as

Selenium and Preeclampsia: a Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

  • Min Xu
  • Dan Guo
  • Hao Gu
  • Li Zhang
  • Shuyan LvEmail author


Conflicting results exist between selenium concentration and preeclampsia. The role of selenium in the development of preeclampsia is unclear. We conducted a meta-analysis to compare the blood selenium level in patients with preeclampsia and healthy pregnant women, and to determine the effectiveness of selenium supplementation in preventing preeclampsia. We searched PubMed, ScienceDirect, the Cochrane Library, and relevant references for English language literature up to November 25, 2014. Mean difference from observational studies and relative risk from randomized controlled trials were meta-analyzed by a random-effect model. Thirteen observational studies with 1515 participants and 3 randomized controlled trials with 439 participants were included in the meta-analysis. Using a random-effect model, a statistically significant difference in blood selenium concentration of −6.47 μg/l (95 % confidence interval (CI) −11.24 to −1.7, p = 0.008) was seen after comparing the mean difference of observational studies. In randomized controlled trials, using a random-effect model, the relative risk for preeclampsia was 0.28 (0.09 to 0.84) for selenium supplementation (p = 0.02). Evidence from observational studies indicates an inverse association of blood selenium level and the risk of preeclampsia. Supplementation with selenium significantly reduces the incidence of preeclampsia. However, more prospective clinical trials are required to assess the association between selenium supplementation and preeclampsia and to determine the dose, beginning time, and duration of selenium supplementation.


Selenium Preeclampsia Systematic review and meta-analysis 



We thank Juan Ji (School of Public health, Nanjing Medical University) for the methodological support. We are also grateful to the authors of the studies included in this review.


Shuyan Lv conceptualized and designed the study; Min Xu, Dan Guo, and Li Zhang acquired, analyzed, or interpreted the data; Min Xu drafted the manuscript; Min Xu and Hao Gu performed critical revision of the manuscript for important content; and Min Xu performed the statistical analysis.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Financial Support

This research received no specific grant from any funding agency or commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Supplementary material

12011_2015_545_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (440 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 439 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Obstetrics, Huai’an First People’s HospitalNanjing Medical UniversityHuai’anChina
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Reproductive Medicine, Institute of ToxicologyNanjing Medical UniversityNanjingChina
  3. 3.Key Laboratory of Modern Toxicology, Ministry of Education, School of Public HealthNanjing Medical UniversityNanjingChina

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