Mediterranean Diet Tied to Lower Preeclampsia Risk

Following a Mediterranean-style diet may help pregnant women avoid preeclampsia, a serious complication that can prove fatal for mothers and their babies, a new study suggests.

For the study, researchers examined data on 8,507 pregnant women who were interviewed after delivery about their typical eating habits. Almost half of the women in the study were Black, 28 percent were Hispanic, 12 percent were white, and another 12 percent identified as other racial or ethnic groups.

One in 10 women developed preeclampsia during pregnancy. Compared with women whose eating habits looked very little like a Mediterranean diet, those who most closely hewed to this way of eating were 22 percent less likely to develop preeclampsia, researchers report in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

The protective effect of a Mediterranean-style diet appeared most protective for Black women, who were 26 percent less likely to develop preeclampsia when they ate this way. Non-Black women in the study who most closely followed a Mediterranean-style diet were 19 percent less likely to develop preeclampsia.

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