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Aspirin can prevent complications in pregnancy caused by flu infections: Study

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Shillong, July 3: Taking low-dose aspirin may treat flu-induced blood vessel inflammation, creating better blood flow to the placenta during pregnancy, according to the world-first study conducted in mice.

 

Low-dose aspirin is commonly taken to prevent preeclampsia — high blood pressure condition in pregnancy — as it stops the body from creating chemicals that cause inflammation.

 

The study, led by an international team from RMIT University in Australia in collaboration with a team from Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, examined whether the treatment for preeclampsia could be applied to flu infections.

 

They found very promising results in animal studies — mice treated daily with low-dose aspirin had less inflammation and improved foetal development and offspring survival.

 

On the contrary, foetuses and placenta from mice with influenza A were smaller than those from uninfected mice. They also found the foetuses with low blood oxygen and poor blood vessel development.

 

Flu infections during pregnancy can resemble preeclampsia, a pregnancy complication that causes inflammation to the aorta and blood vessels, said lead researcher Dr Stella Liong, a post-doctoral research student at RMIT University in Melbourne.

 

She explained: “When the vascular system gets inflamed, it leads to poor blood flow and affects the aorta’s function.”

 

“This is especially a problem during pregnancy where good blood flow to the placenta is crucial to the development of the foetus.”

 

While the research still awaits human clinical trials, Liong said low-dose aspirin is already recognised as safe to take during pregnancy.

 

However, pregnant people must seek medical advice before taking new medications, the research team said. (IANS)

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